A Brief Overview Of Rococo Art



Rococo art is a style of high class French art and decoration from the 18th century, characterized by elaborate ornamentation, a light and airy feel, and a sense of delicacy. The term "Rococo" comes from the French word "rocaille" or "shell-like" for the graceful s-curves and scrolling forms that dominate the style. While the movement started in France, it slowly spread to Germany by way of French-loving princes before it was put down as tasteless and corrupt and then supplanted by neoclassicism.

It's often seen as a reaction against Baroque art, which was characterized by extremely high key and low key lighting and by the action of the moment, and the late Louis XIV's need for formality. In contrast, Rococo art was about idling away the afternoon and the more frivolous side of life, specifically the life of the aristocracy. Simply put, it was art that was created for no other reason than to be beautiful and pleasing to the eye and very rarely had much meaning or depth beyond what you saw.


Some of the most prominent examples of Rococo art include Jean-Honore Fragonard's "the Swing," Antoine Watteau's "The Embarktion for Cythera," and Francis Boucher's "Venus Consoling Love."

Boucher's "Venus Consoling Love"
Boucher's "Venus Consoling Love"

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