The Rococo Movement

If you’ve ever seen the interior of the palace of Versailles, you have a good idea of what the Rococo Movement was all about. The Rococo art and architecture created during the 18th century all have the same features: lavish ornamentation, sensual detail, and bright, vivid colors. This was the art of the aristocracy, and it graced castles, palaces, and upper class establishments all over Europe.

The Beginning of the Rococo Movement

The Rococo Movement began at the very beginning of the 18th century in France. King Louis XIV commissioned the artists of the Royal Academy of Painting to come up with a newer, more youthful artistic style to represent his growing empire. Louis XIV possessed the nickname “the Sun King,” so it’s easy to see why bright colors and grand designs became the hallmark of this new movement.

The Features of Rococo

Rococo paintings didn’t differ stylistically from their Classical counterparts all that much, but Rococo painters infused their paintings with much more emotional and sensual themes than their predecessors did. In architecture, Rococo dominated building design with extravagantly ornamental arches, painted ceilings, and lively decorated spaces.

Detail was very important to Rococo artists, and this can be seen in the lifelike human figures they painted and sculpted. One of the main goals of the Rococo artists was to convey emotion and passion as honestly as possible in their work.

How the Rococo Movement Spread

Rococo artwork was highly sought after by the French aristocracy and royalty, but its influence didn’t end there. In other European countries like Germany, the style also became extremely popular. But instead of paintings covering the walls of upper class homes, German Rococo art was primarily found in the paintings and architecture of churches and cathedrals. In contrast, the Rococo style in Italy was used mostly in furniture.