Inthe pickers were tasked with naming the principle design motif often used in Rococo ornamentation in the bonus round.
What is Rococo? Rococo refers to an artistic movement that began in the early 1700s. Defining Rococo might land you on rocky terrain, but the word Rococo can be broken into parts and mined for clues. The French word,, literally refers to stone debris, and is associated with rock and shell ornamentation. Another French word, coquilles, translates to shells. The origins of the name Rococo underscore the strong association between the movement and the shell motif.
The ornate Rococo style influenced several art forms, including painting, music, sculpture, and literature. Furniture-makers and other craftspeople also made Rococo pieces. Design motifs include elements mentioned by our pickers in the bonus round, such as acanthus leaves and romantic figures. In fact, romance imbues many Rococo works with levity and playfulness.
Some historians trace Rococo’s aesthetic extravagance to a political power shift in France. In 1715, King Louis XIV died and his imperial ambitions weakened in the hands of his great-grandson Louis XV. The focus on Baroque art, popular in Europe from the 1600s through the 1700s, with an emphasis on the sensational glorification of religion and history, gave way to pastel colors depicting nature, mythology, and illustrations of aristocrats engaged in leisure. The wealthy French who had gathered around Louis XIV at Versailles now scattered to Paris, where they adorned their new homes in Rococo designs. Shells, scrolls, acanthus leaves, and courtly figures embellished everything from the staircase balustrades to the tea set on the table, until another historic event knocked furiously at the door: The French Revolution.
A different artistic movement, known as Neo-Classicism, replaced Rococo and served to support revolutionaries. Neo-Classicism often presented Enlightenment ideals of rational thinking and moral observances, while virtually anything with curlicues or curls were either banished or beheaded.
To learn more about Rococo:
· Check out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
· View a by the National Gallery of Art
· Watch the appraisal of a
Written by MARKET WARRIORS production assistant Rebecca Taylor.