Rococo: Decorative Arts, Interior Design & Architecture

Rococo with its various products is highly sought after and admired, especially by the Bourgeois class. The Bourgeois are the elite of France who from the beginning embraced this style as a new artistic trend. During that time, the distinctive Rococo crafts served as a status symbol.

Behind its emergence lies the fact that this style was actually an effort by a group of artists and architects who were growing weary of the dominance of the increasingly outdated Baroque style. This style can be seen as a form of visual mischief, aimed at bringing freshness and new vibrancy to the era. The robust, rigid, and cold Baroque style was playfully mocked by the warm, cheerful, and witty characteristics of Rococo forms. Consequently, through its artistic playfulness, this style seemed to offer an intimacy that was lacking in previous artistic styles.

This intimacy was not just empty talk. Rococo, which began with modifications to Baroque decoration ornaments, eventually extended to the interior design of personal spaces, as opposed to Baroque’s focus on public and monumental buildings. Rococo found its place in the interiors of homes, including metal and porcelain ornaments. Various crafts of this new artistic style were highly sought after and admired, especially by the Bourgeois – the French elite who embraced Rococo as a new artistic style from the beginning. During that time, these distinctive crafts became symbols of social status.

The typical characteristics of Rococo interior design are often characterized by the use of seashell forms and floral motifs. Rococo’s cheerful and warm character is typically represented by visually organic, natural, and flexible ornaments, such as seashell forms, flame-like swirls, and floral shapes like flowers and foliage. Almost all visual forms used by this style are asymmetric, serving to create a contrasting impression. Additionally, the dominance of asymmetric forms helps eliminate the rigid and inflexible appearance displayed by the rules of classical architecture, such as in disguising the composition of Cornice, Frieze, & Architrave.

During its time, these asymmetric forms brought by this style were actually something new for European society. It’s no wonder that initially, this artistic style was difficult to accept as an artistic movement.

As for the color scheme of Rococo, being a visual style, it naturally carries distinct color characteristics. This new style tends to use soft and pale colors, in contrast to the Baroque style, which often uses primary colors with somewhat darker tonalities. The color selection in this artistic style fundamentally supports the sense of intimacy it aims to create. Moreover, the dominant colors in Rococo also evoke romantic and sensual impressions. Ultimately, these impressions developed into themes frequently explored by this artistic style. Hence, it’s not surprising that many views associate Rococo with sensuality.

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