Rococo (rococo, from rocaille – crushed stone, decorative shell, shell, rocaille, less often rococo) – a style in art (mainly in interior design), originated in France in the first half of the XVIII century (during the regency of Philip Orleans) as the development of the Baroque style.
Characteristic features of Rococo are refinement, large decorative loading of interiors and compositions, graceful ornamental rhythm, great attention to mythology, personal comfort. The highest development in architecture was in Bavaria.
The term “rococo” (or “rocaille”) came into use in the middle of the XIX century. Initially, “rocaille” is a way of decorating the interiors of grottoes, fountain bowls, etc. with various fossils that mimic natural (natural) formations, and the “rocailleer” is the master who creates such decorations.
What we now call “Rococo”, at one time was called “a picturesque taste”, but in the 1750s. the criticism of all the “twisted” and “tortured” became more active, and the name “spoiled taste” began to appear in the literature. Especially successful were the Encyclopaedists who criticized the “spoiled taste” for not having a reasonable beginning.
The main elements of the style: rocaille – curl and cartel – the term now forgotten, used for the name of rockcasting cartridges. One of the earliest cases of the use of these terms is Montond-son’s grave “The Third Book of Rockcasting and Cartel Forms”, 1736 (see illustrations below). We also find them in the letter (April 7, 1770) of the master Roatier (who made the silver service for Catherine II at the end of the 1760s, later known as the “Orlovsky Service”), the preserved objects are kept in the State Hermitage.
This letter also reflected the change of tastes that occurred at the turn of the 1760-70s: “… since EI V. wants to abandon all kinds of figures and cartels, we will do our best to replace them with antique ornaments and following the best taste, according to the wishes … “(quoted from the document of the RGIA).
Despite the popularity of the new “antique forms”, which became fashionable in the late 1750s. (this direction was called “Greek taste”, the items of this style are often mistaken for later Rococo), the so-called Rococo maintained its position right up to the very end of the century. In France, the Rococo period was called the time of Cupid and Venus
In the 1960s and 1970s, the rococo concept was extended as a result of the baroque grind: “Entering the Rococo phase, the emblem becomes more and more independent, and becomes part of the overall decorative decoration, along with nymphs, naiads, cornucopia, dolphins and newts […]. ] “Cupids of the deity of love” turn into – putti – rococo
Architectural (more precisely – decorative) Rococo style appeared in France during the regency of Philip of Orleans (1715-1723) and reached its apogee under Louis XV, moved to other European countries and dominated it until the 1780s.
Discarding the cold parade, the heavy and boring pompous art of the times of Louis XIV and the Italian baroque, the architecture of rococo tends to be easy, affable, playful; she does not care about the organic combination and distribution of the parts of the structure, nor about the appropriateness of their forms, but disposes of them with complete arbitrariness, reaching a whim, avoids strict symmetry, endlessly varies the dismemberment and ornamental details and does not stint the latter.
In the creations of this architecture, straight lines and flat surfaces almost disappear or, at least, are masked by a figured decoration; none of the established warrants is executed in its pure form; the columns are lengthened, then shortened and twisted helically; their capitals are distorted by coquettish changes and additions, cornices are placed above the cornices; high pilasters and huge caryatids prop up insignificant projections with a very prominent cornice; roofs girdle along the edge of balustrades with flakonovymi balusters and with placed at some distance from each other pedestals on which are placed vases or statues; the gables, representing the fracturing convex and sunken lines, are also crowned with vases, pyramids, sculpture figures, trophies and other similar objects.
Everywhere, in the frame of windows, doors, wall spaces inside the building, in plafonds, an intricate stucco ornamentation consisting of curls remotely resembling leaves of plants, convex shields, improperly surrounded by the same curls, from masks, flower garlands and festoons, shells, unfinished stones (rocaille), etc.
Despite this lack of rationality in the use of architectural elements, for such capriciousness, sophistication and burdensome forms, the Rococo style left many monuments that until now Do not be attracted by their originality, luxury and cheerful beauty, which are alive to us in the era of blush and whitewash, flies and powdered wigs (hence the German style names: Perückenstil, Zopfstil).