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Rococo Collage

Rococo

Started: 1702

Ended: 1780

Rococo Timeline

Quotes

"This vision is within our grasp."
François Boucher
"One makes use of pigments, but one paints with one's feelings."
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
"In order to concentrate on reproducing it faithfully I must forget everything I have seen and even forget the way such objects have been treated by others."
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
"Fools talk of imitation and copying, all is imitation."
Thomas Gainsborough
"Painting and living have always been one and the same thing for me."
Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun

KEY ARTISTS

François BoucherFrançois Boucher
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Jean-Antoine WatteauJean-Antoine Watteau
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Jean-Honore FragonardJean-Honore Fragonard
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Jean-Baptiste Simeon ChardinJean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin
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Thomas GainsboroughThomas Gainsborough
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Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le BrunÉlisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
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"In my view, you must either do away with ornament - or make ornament the essence. It's not something you add. It's not icing on a cake. It's everything - or it's nothing."

Jean-Antoine Watteau

Synopsis

Centuries before the term "bling" was invented to denote ostentatious shows of luxury, Rococo infused the world of art and interior design with an aristocratic idealism that favored elaborate ornamentation and intricate detailing. The paintings that became signature to the era were created in celebration of Rococo's grandiose ideals and lust for the aristocratic lifestyle and pastimes. The movement, which developed in France in the early 1700s, evolved into a new, over-the-top marriage of the decorative and fine arts, which became a visual lexicon that infiltrated 18th century continental Europe.

Key Ideas

Genre paintings were popular ways to represent the Rococo period's bold and joyous lust for life. This included fete galante, or works denoting outdoor pastimes, erotic paintings alive with a sense of whimsical hedonism, Arcadian landscapes, and the "celebrity" portrait, which positioned ordinary people in the roles of notable historical or allegorical characters.
Rococo art and architecture carried a strong sense of theatricality and drama, influenced by stage design. Theater's influence could be seen in the innovative ways painting and decorative objects were woven into various environments, creating fully immersive atmospheres.
Detail-work flourished in the Rococo period. Stucco reliefs as frames, asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork, sculptural arabesque details, gilding, pastels, and tromp l'oeil are the most noted methods that were used to achieve a seamless integration of art and architecture.
The term "rococo" was first used by Jean Mondon in his Premier Livre de forme rocquaille et cartel (First book of Rococo Form and Setting) (1736), with illustrations that depicted the style used in architecture and interior design. The term was derived from the French rocaille, meaning "shell work, pebble-work," used to describe High Renaissance fountains or garden grottos that used seashells and pebbles, embedded in stucco, to create an elaborate decorative effect.

Predecessors

Rococo Image

In painting Rococo was primarily influenced by the Venetian School's use of color, erotic subjects, and Arcadian landscapes, while the School of Fontainebleau was foundational to Rococo interior design.

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Rococo Overview Continues

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols
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