Rococo

Rococo [ruh-koh-koh] also referred to as ‘Late Baroque’ is an 18th century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly more ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. It was largely supplanted by the Neoclassic style.

In 1835 the Dictionary of the French Academy stated that the word Rococo ‘usually covers the kind of ornament, style and design associated with Louis XV’s reign.’ The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French rocaille, meaning stone, and coquilles, meaning shell, due to reliance on these objects as motifs of decoration. It may also be related to the Portuguese barroco (which refers to an irregularly shaped pearl), or Baroque style.

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