Rococo decoration is cheerful, filled with striking yet soft color schemes and decorative elements. Its designs emphasize asymmetry and often use curved lines dominated by gold accents. Another characteristic of Rococo decoration is the shell motif. After briefly discussing the history and origins of the Rococo artistic style in the previous article, this article will delve deeper into Rococo, particularly its distinctive characteristics and features. In the previous article, it was mentioned that Rococo emerged in the early 18th century as a response to the rigid and serious artistic style of Baroque that dominated Europe.
During that time, Baroque dominated Europe with its strict and serious artistic styles, heavily emphasizing religious themes. Rococo emerged when a group of artists and architects sought to make changes to the increasingly outdated art style. In practice, they added visually stimulating, cheerful, humorous, and highly decorative elements to the typical Baroque works.
However, in its early development, many art critics dismissed the new artistic style brought by Rococo. They argued that Rococo decoration was nothing more than mere visual frivolity, solely presenting artistic beauty in a visual sense.
Rococo was seen as a tasteless style devoid of ideas and meaning in its works. Moreover, Rococo faced further criticism when figures like François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, and renowned architect Jacques-François Blondel agreed that the Rococo period was a time of artistic decadence.
The negative perception of Rococo decoration persisted for a long time, even until the end of its era, before it was eventually replaced by the new artistic style known as Neoclassicism. After undergoing various reevaluations, Rococo was finally recognized as an important artistic style and period in the history of art development worldwide, particularly in the mid-19th century.
In stark contrast to Baroque, Rococo is cheerful, filled with striking yet soft color schemes and decorative elements. Its designs emphasize asymmetry and frequently employ curved lines with a dominance of gold accents. One of the strong characteristics of Rococo art is the presence of shell-like forms that are almost always incorporated into its decorative motifs or patterns.
However, there were additions here and there, incorporating light and natural visual elements with an emphasis on organic lines. Besides Baroque, many opinions suggest that one of the strong influences on the Rococo artistic style was Chinoiserie. Chinoiserie itself was a form of translation and imitation of Chinese techniques and motifs by European artists and designers in the 18th century.
Originally, Rococo, also known as the “French Taste Style,” was primarily a style of decoration and interior design. However, its extraordinary popularity and dissemination extended beyond other aspects of art, particularly in painting and sculpture. In the next article, we will explore how the Rococo artistic style influenced various aspects of art.