Rococo art

Before talking about rococo art , we will have to talk about the Rococó stage and what it is or how it came about. It is for this reason that the Rococó period is called an artistic movement that originated in France between 1730 and 1760 . When it comes to differentiating between the Rococo and the Baroque we have to emphasize that the former is at the service of the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, on the contrary the Baroque was at the service and in favor of the absolutist power. However, not only is this the main difference, but from the beginning of Rococo art the artist was able to carry out his works with more freedom and the art mark expanded, in addition Rococó is an art at the service of party, luxury and comfort, that is why the representations of the works are of the daily lifestyle.

If we refer to the difference between the change from Baroque to Rococo with respect to the social, Rococo art begins to be reflected in the change that the role of women gives as it becomes the main organizer of meetings to speak about games, literature, politics or dancing In addition, Rococo art tries to reproduce the feelings that were in the aristocratic life and the concerns they had, in addition to religious figures or heroic battles.

In summary we can say the Rococo stage begins in the 18th century in France, it was also considered the culmination of the Baroque period. Therefore, it has great differences with the Baroque, that is, the Rococó differs in the elegance of the works, the opulence and the bright colors that are a clear contradiction of the darkness and pessimism that characterized the Baroque


The end of Rococo art begins around 1760, when characters such as Voltaire and Jacques-Francois Blondel spread criticism about the superficiality and degeneration of art. Blondel, in particular, lamented the ” incredible mix of shells, dragons, reeds, palms, and plants ” of contemporary art, and in 1780 the Rococo ceased to be fashionable in France and was replaced by the order and seriousness of the neoclassical style. .

Origin of Rococo Art

The concept of Rococó has a French origin, “rocaille (stone)” and “coquille (shell)”, both elements from which the word rococó comes from are important for the ornamentation of the interiors. That is why, during the Rococo period, the decoration stood out as being completely asymmetric and free, it also had a preference for irregular and wavy shapes and a great taste for natural materials such as marine stones, vegetable shapes or shells. .

Rococo art and architecture

One of the characteristics of the Rococo style in architecture will be the marked difference between exteriors and interiors, the interior being a place of fantasy and color, while the facade will be characterized by simplicity and simplicity. The classical orders are abandoned, and the facades of the buildings will be distinguished by being smooth, with circular buildings, with a central pavilion surrounded by a garden or a natural park. Other buildings could take the form of chained pavilions, against the typical “block” building. The rooms are specialized for each function and with a very comfortable distribution, combining ornamentation, colors and furniture.

Rococo art and painting

The painting reached its maximum splendor in the 1730s. Called Gallant Painting and not Rococo painting since this term encompasses the aesthetic context in which it was found. The artists used light and delicate colors and curvilinear shapes, with themes such as cherubs and love myths and landscapes with gallant and pastoral parties, meals on the grass of aristocratic characters and love and courteous adventures. They also had themes of mythological characters that intermingle in the scenes, giving them sensuality, joy and freshness, with portraiture being a theme chosen by Rococo art painters, representing elegant and kind characters.


Rococo Art Characteristics

In general, Rococo art is defined as a courtly, anti-formalistic and individual art, characterized by soft, clear and very bright colors

All his works were characterized by being inspired by the naked bodies , oriental art, nature and mythology, and you can also see representations of love and gallant themes.

The art Rococó is mundane, ie, has no religious influence since this form of art represents themes of relationships between humans and everyday life,

Try to find a style that is exotic, sensual, refined and pleasant.

In the painting there are great works with representations of country parties and gallant, with courtly and loving adventures and above all with pastoral stories.

All the representations have a happy, fresh and sensual composition.

The Art Rococó   becomes a source of inspiration to women, which represents sensual and very beautiful way.

Featured artists of this art class

Watteau, Jean-Antoine : born in  1684, a French painter considered one of the leading artists of the Rococo period and a precursor of 19th-century Impressionism. In 1702 he went to Paris where he lived as a painter of his copy works and mannered devotional paintings that a dealer bought for him; in 1708 he began to work with the decorative artist Claude Audran and had the opportunity to study the cycle of Baroque paintings by Petrus Paulus Rubens on The Life of Maria de Medici; in 1709 he won the second prize in the coveted Prix de Rome competition, later receiving important commissions and in 1717 he was elected a member of the French Academy in Paris. His canvases reflect the influence of the great Flemish painters, with a style that revealed a sensitivity in the treatment of light and color, a sensuality, a delicacy and a lyricism hitherto unknown. His style was imitated by other Rococo painters and his themes include the meetings of gallants in the open air, his masterpiece being Shipment for the Island of Cytherea created in 1717. Another widely used theme was the representations of clowns, harlequins and Italian comedians.

Fragonard, Jean-Honoré: born in 1732, he is a French painter of the Rococo period, one of the favorite artists of the court of Louis XV and Louis XVI thanks to his lovingly colored scenes, often located in gardens. He was a disciple of the French painter Carle Van Loo for three years, later he studied and painted for six years in Italy, where he was influenced by the Venetian master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. At first he developed a style with religious and historical themes, but in 1765 he followed the rococo style, a style of fashion in France. His works from this period reflect the joy, frivolity and voluptuousness of the period., works with fluid lines, highlighting the vaporous flowers in the middle of a soft foliage and the figures with poses full of grace and elegance of ladies with their lovers or peasant with their children.

Francois de Cuvilliés: French-German architect,  who deployed all his talent in the Bavarian rococo. A great example of his art is the House Pavilion located at the Nymphenburg Palace, a summer residence that sits west of Munich in Germany.

Jean Antoine Watteau:  French painter in his works expressed an art that reflected lyrical erotic designs. Among his most outstanding works we find “ Embarkation for Cythera” from 1717, a painting that is located in the Louvre Museum and “ Pierrot Alegre ” which is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

Jean-Baptiste Simeón Chardin: born in 1699, he focused on Flemish and Dutch painting of the 17th century, inspiring his taste for the poetry of small everyday episodes, choosing muted tones and his chosen subjects were the affections of bourgeois families, Important works were his “ Dead Natures ” created in 1728.

Rococo Art can be seen especially in architecture, painting and sculpture. There are several artists who have been outstanding in this period, although the main ones were: François Boucher, Jean Honoré Fragonard and Giambattista Tiepolo, these artists stood out above all in painting and have made amazing paintings such as “Diana after the bath”, “The happy fortunes del Columpio ”, among others. If we talk about the most famous artists in architecture, we could talk about Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, François de Cuvilliés and Johann Balthasar Neuman, among others. Finally, in the sculpture category we can see variousSculptors among all of them we can highlight Giovanni Battista Bernero, Jacques Roettiers, Jean-Antoine Houdon and Innocenzo Spinazzi . Obviously in all categories there are various featured artists, but the main ones would be the ones discussed above.


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