Portrait of Madame de Pompadour∞ François Boucher 1756 Oil on Canvas Alte Pinakothek Munchen
Do You Want to Succeed with Women?∞ Jean-Antoine Watteau 1720 Oil on Canvas The Wallace Collection London
Clothing/ Robe à la Française/ female∞ Unknown 1750 Embroidery on silk Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
The Institution of the Rosary∞ Giovanni Tiepolo 1737 Santa Maria del Rosario (Gesuati) Venice
Clothing/ Robe à la Française/ female∞ Unknown 1750 Silk Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
The Death of Hyacinthus∞ Giovanni Tiepolo 1753 Oil on Canvas Current location Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Spain
Allegory of the Planets and Continents∞ Giovanni Tiepolo 1752 Oil on Canvas Metropolitan Museum of Art
Girl playing with racquet and shuttlecock.∞ Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin 1737 Oil on Canvas Florence Galleria degli Uffizi
Rococo was a lifestyle. An opulent, playful embrace of ornate furniture and sculpture, ornamental mirrors, and florid tapestry and architecture. 18th century swag.
An l8th century style, principally associated with the decorative arts, deriving its name from the French, rocaille, meaning ‘rock work’. The name was first used in the early 19th century as a pejorative term, denoting the frivolous over-elaboration which contemporary critics considered the salient feature of the style. Rococo evolved in France from, and as a reaction against, the formal and somewhat ponderous style centered on the court of Louis XIV at Versailles. Following Louis XIV’s death in 1715 the court moved to Paris and Rococo reflected the new taste for lighter, more delicate decoration suitable for the smaller, more comfortable and intimate interiors of town houses. Interiors and furnishings alike were decorated with abstract ‘s’ curves and ‘c’ scrolls combined with naturalistic motifs derived from shells and plants, often in a playfully asymmetrical arrangement. The paintings of Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard, with their playful eroticism, soft colors and elegant forms, provided a perfectly attuned accompaniment to the interiors for which they were intended.
The most celebrated sculptor associated with Rococo style was Falconet, particularly in his role as director of the Sevres porcelain factory. Another important Rococo porcelain factory was at Meissen, near Dresden. In fact, after France, the other main centres of the Rococo were Catholic parts of Southern Germany and Austria, where the churches of Neumann and Dominikus Zimmerman took Rococo decoration to breathtakingly elaborate extremes. The leading German Rococo sculptor was Ignaz Gunther. In Italy only Venice adopted the Rococo style, but it did produce in Tiepolo the finest decorative painter of the period. He worked throughout Europe, notably at Wurzburg and Madrid. Tiepolo’s work in Spain influenced in turn the early paintings of Goya. The style never took a firm hold in England, although Hogarth’s love of the ‘s’ curve clearly derives from the Rococo and the elegance of Gainsborough’s paintings partakes of its flavor. The Rococo style was eventually supplanted in the 1760s by the radical seriousness of the Neoclassical style.