Rococo Period Presentation

~ 18th Century France ~
- Liam Shlakman -
Commonly considered “Late Baroque”
Is a form of “Total Art” which means that it encases all forms of expression
such as: painting, sculpture, architecture, interior design, decoration,
literature, music, fashion and theatre
Developed in the early 18th century as a reaction against the grandeur,
symmetry, and strict regulations of the Baroque
The style is ornate and playful with light colors and asymmetry
The word “Rococo” is a combination of the French “rocaille” (stone) and
“coquilles” (shell) due to the reliance on these as reoccurring motifs
Rococo is generally used to describe the ornamentation favored in the
French reign of Louis XV (1710-1774) through to the beginning of the reign
of Louis XVI (1774-1792)
The three main and major painters of the Rococo period include JeanAntoine Watteau (1684-1721), Francois Boucher (1703-1770) and JeanHonoré Fragonard (1732-1806)
Furniture and Decorative Objects
Furniture was light-hearted, physically and visually
The idea of furniture had turned into a symbol of status & took on a role of
comfort and versatility
Lots of furniture pieces became transportable such as the fauteuil chair, the
voyeuse chair, and the berger en gondola
Furniture was often freestanding, to exemplify the light and airy aura of the
Rococo aesthetic
Mahogany was used greatly to construct furniture during this period
Also, the use of mirrors hung above mantels became ever more popular in
the light of the development of unblemished glass
Furniture style remained more reserved, sice the ornaments were mostly of
wood, yet represented less robust and naturalistic themes
Furniture pieces would seamlessly flow into c-scrolls, and knots of
asymmetrical “contraste”
Interior Design
• Abstract ornament was expressed using flaming, leafy or shell-like
textures in asymmetrical sweeps and flourishes and broken curves
• Palette is softer and paler than the rich primary colors and dark
tonalities favored in Baroque tastes
• Most notable Rococo interior design would be the Palace of
Versailles in France
• While the exterior of buildings tended to be more somber, Rococo
took full throttle on the interior because they were constantly
renovating pre-existing buildings rather than completely rebuilding
from the floor
interior in
stucco and
fresco at
Zwiefalten ->
Marie Antoinette’s Bedroom,
Palace of Versailles
• A lighter, more elaborate version of Baroque architecture
• Emphasized asymmetrical forms
• Heavily decorated with jocular themes, numerous curves
and decorations, as well as the usage of pale colors
• The most famous include the Catherine Palace, in
Russia, the Queluz National Palace in Portugal, The
Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces, Brühl, the
Chinese House (Potsdam), the Charlottenburg Palace in
Germany, as well as elements of the Chateau de
Versailles in France
in France
The Quelez National Palace in Portugal
The Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo
• Although Rococo was primarily in the decorative sector of arts, the
style was incredibly present in painting as well
• Painters used delicate colors, curving forms, Rococo motifs, cherubs
and feelings of love and story telling
• Portraiture was also popular among artists at this time. Works would
also support themes of departing from the Baroques church/state
orientation. Landscapes were pastoral and often depicted leisurely
aristocratic activity
• Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) is considered the first great
Rococo Painter
• He had great influence on later painters including Francois Boucher
(1703-1770) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1731-1806), two masters
of the late period.
L’enseigne de
Gersaint, JeanAntoinne Watteau,
The Swing,
• Étienne-Maurice Falconet (1716-1791) is considered one of the best
representations of French Rococo. He used delicate porcelain
sculpture apposed to marble statues
• Themes of love and gaiety were reflected in sculpture, as were
elements of nature, curving lines and asymmetry
• Sculptor Edmé Bouchardon represented Cupid in stucco, just as it
replaced marble
• Other French Rococo sculptors include Jean-Louis Lemoyne, JeanBaptiste Lemoyne, Robert Le Lorrain, Louis-Simon Boizot, Michel
Clodion, and Pigalle
Cupid Carving
His Bow from
the Club of
Hercules, by
Pygmalion and
Galatea, by
Étienne Maurice
Falconet, 1763
Child with
Birdcage, by
The End
thank you….
• Name 3 significant artists from the Rococo period?
• What are 2 characteristics that are typical of the period?
• Describe 3 ideas, concepts, customs etc. that are typical of the
time period (What’s happening at the time?)
• What are the colors often used in Rococo art?
• What are typical characteristics of Rococo furniture
• Who were the reigning kings during the period?
• What is the most popular palace of the period?

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