What is rococo?

What Does rococo Mean

The notion of rococo is used in the field of art to refer to a style . It is about the Baroque that was born in the 18th century in the French territory, which is distinguished by its refined and exuberant decoration .

Behind the name
The beginnings of the rococo are located around 1730 . However, the concept was coined several decades later, supposedly by a disciple of the painter Jacques-Louis David who would have associated the terms rocaille (the ornament made in imitation of rocks) and baroque (that is, baroque ).

It is easy to appreciate the baroque influence in the ornamentation of the Rococo

In principle, the connotation of rococo was pejorative . Over time, art historians came to refer to the style inspired by mythology and nature , characterized by the use of clear and luminous tones .

Short description
The rococo bets on sensuality and the exotic , representing human bonds and love . Religion is not usually present in his works and developments, despite the fact that there is a side that appears in the ornamentation of Catholic churches (the sacred rococo ).
Its theme is not very complex, although this adjective can be applied with respect to its designs, which present a great density of intricate ornaments. According to the majority opinion, Rococo is better suited to relatively small furniture and decorative objects than to sculptures and buildings.
It is not an isolated idea, since the French representatives of the Rococo applied it especially to the interior of the houses. We can see it in the many porcelain figures, furniture and silverware of high society families, eager to be fashionable.
The fall of the rococo
Around the year 1760 the end of this artistic style began which, you probably did not know at the time, would go down in history anyway and be an important part of university academic programs. The turning point was the strong criticism from influential people such as Jacques-François Blondel and Voltaire about its lack of depth, which was a movement against art itself.
According to Blondel, the rococo excessively mixed palms, reeds, plants, dragons and shells, something that displeased him. It took two decades of defamation for it to go out of style in its country of origin and to be replaced by the neoclassical style , characterized by its serious and orderly works, promoted by the painter Jacques-Louis David.

Beyond the borders of large cities, Rococo retained its popularity. The same happened in Italy, but when the second stage of the neoclassical arrived, the Napoleon government imposed the so-called Empire style . Starting in 1820 and for half a century, the rococo once again aroused the interest of a part of the population.
The first country to revalue this style was England, and thus began an importation of second-hand items that were sold to them by Parisians. On French soil it did not regain its popularity with such force, although it enjoyed moderate interest thanks to the influence of the Empress Eugenia de Montijo and Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix .

Rococo shines in furniture and interior design
In all arts
It is possible to find manifestations of the Rococo in sculpture , painting , architecture , fashion and furniture design , for example. Already approaching the nineteenth century, its popularity fell, although then it had periods of rebound.
Painters such as the Spanish Francisco de Goya and the French Jean-Baptiste Oudry ; architects like the German Dominikus Zimmermann and the Italian Bernardo Antonio Vittone ; and sculptors such as the French Étienne-Maurice Falconet and François Gaspard Adam are historical exponents of various expressions of the Rococo style.

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