Rococo

18 Mar

Rococo, also known as “Late Baroque”. Rococo began around 18th century style. The style developed as Baroque artists began to let go of the symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestries that complement architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings.

The had its beginnings in the decorative arts and interiors. Rococo parallels with the reign of Louis XV. The delicacy and playfulness of Rococo styles is often said to be perfectly in sync with the excesses of Louis XV‘s reign! Rococo is mainly thought of as “French”. Great Britain did not really take on the designs of Rococo as much as other surrounding areas.

Metalwork, porcelain figures,frills and especially furniture rose to the occcasion as the French upper classes sought to outfit their homes in the now fashionable style.

Ludwigsbg Mirror
Interior at Gatchina

 

Though Rococo originated in the decorative arts, the style came across clearly in paintings. Painters used delicate colors and curving forms. They would decorate their canvases with cherubs and myths of love. Portraiture was also popular. Some works show a sort of naughtiness or impurity in the behavior of their subjects, showing the trend of departing away from the Baroque’s church/state orientation. Landscapes were pastoral and they often showed the leisurely outings of aristocratic couples.

The Union of Earth and Water by Rubens

 

Pompadour

 The idea of furniture had evolved to a symbol of status and took on a role in comfort and versatility. Furniture could be easily moved around for gatherings, and many specialized forms came to be such as the fauteuil chair, the voyeuse chair, and the berger en gondola. Changes in design of these chairs ranges from cushioned detached arms, lengthening of the cushioned back and a loose seat cushion. Furniture became freestanding, instead of having to be anchored by the wall, to accentuate  versatility of each piece. Mahogany was widely used in furniture construction due to its strength. Also, the use of mirrors hung above mantels became ever more popular in light of the development of unblemished glass.

Walnut Fauteuil Rococo Chair

Rococo chair

 

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