February 23, 2018

Rococo – Flirty & Decadent

So far we have experienced Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture in Europe.  Continuing with this series, let’s take a look at the Rococo style.

One thing I have noticed while researching architectural styles is I find myself saying “Oh yea I remember seeing that!” Have you felt that way too?  If so, you’ll feel the same way with Rococo.

Ottobeuren Abbey Bavaria Germany

Ottobeuren Abbey by Mrilabs

The Rococo style of architecture was popular between 1720-1789 and is a dainty and elaborate version of Baroque, also referred to as Late Baroque.  Rococo rooms were decorated as a total package including furniture, artwork, mirrors and tapestries that enhance the architecture.

Rococo Architecture St. Andriy's Church Kiev Russia

St. Andriy's Church Kiev by Koshelyev

The Rococo style:

  • Stressed asymmetry
  • Had less emphasis on religion
  • Was very decorative and used shell like curves
  • Colors were pale and considered more “classy”
  • Included walls that were flat, smooth and rectangular in shape
  • Walls had carvings and gold gilding over door frames

    Wies Church Bavaria Germany

    Wies Church Bavaria Germany by MichaelXXLF

The style is most associated with the aristocrats of the time and is considered to be a rebuff to the over bearing Roman Catholic Church. First growing quickly in France, this style is both graceful and artistically elegant and more concerned with indulgence and appreciating life. This lighter and graceful style was favored by Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI. Rococo architecture was completely in harmony with the lavishness of Louis XV’s rule and is seen as a prelude to the French revolution.

Rococo Architecture Versailles Grand Trianon Paris France

Versailles Grand Trianon by Kallgan

Since it was seen as a “French Style”, Rococo architecture was never really adopted in Great Britain.

Popular architects of the time include:

Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli who was an Italian born architect that lived most of his life in Russia with his father, who was also a famous Italian sculptor.  Most notable works are the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and Catherine Palace.

Philip de Lange was born in France but was a leading architect in Denmark and the Netherlands.

Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann was a German born architect who helped rebuild Dresden after a massive fire in 1685.  His most famous work is Dresden Castle.

Asam Brothers were sculptors, stuccoists, painters, and architects, who working together, became one of the most influential ambassadors of the Rococo style.   Probably their most famous work is Church of St. John Nepomuk, also known as, Asamkirche, which is located in Munich.

Dominikus and Johann Zimmermann are Bavarian architects, painters and stuccoists whose famous works include the Weiskirche and Steinhausen Church.

Belvedere Palace Vienna Austria

Belvedere Palace by David.Monniaux

Judgment of the Rococo style came from all over but included French philosopher Voltaire.  The demise of the style came from critics saying its flirty and decadent style was immoral.


What do you think of Rococo architecture?

Have you seen it before?

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  1. Truly no matter if someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other users that they will
    assist, so here it happens.
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  2. Christina says:

    Wonderful pictures! If you’re still going to Bamberg in August, you could easily drive to Vierzehnheiligen near Staffelstein (on the Autobahn it won’t take longer than 30 mins). It’s a late baroque-rococo basilica, famous for pilgrimages and its stunning interior!
    Christina recently posted..Discovering Vancouver: Granville Island delights

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I am still going to Bamberg and can’t wait! I think I say pictures of Vierzehnheiligen when doing research but I don’t think I’ll have time on this trip. Guess I”ll just have to go again! Oh darn. . .

  3. Lisa says:

    These are such beautiful photos. I always enjoy them.
    Lisa recently posted..Taking The Plunge to Travel

  4. What do I think of Rococo architecture? Over the top, but totally awesome! The photo of Ottobeuren Abbey by Mrilabs really grabbed me.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Vancouver- The Drop

  5. inka says:

    I love everything that’ glitters and is OTT. Rococo fits the bill and I’ve seen many examples in Germany. But, what about the fashion? Equally OTT except when I think they never bathed, just dipped their fingertips in perfumed water and dabbed perfume behind their ears. Rice powder on the face, beauty spots on the lips.
    inka recently posted..Urfa – City of the Prophets

  6. I have seen this style before, but I didn’t really know much about it. Great info!
    The Travel Chica recently posted..The Most Gluttonous Night of My Life… So Far

  7. Laurel says:

    Very informative post, I’m enjoying your series on the different styles of architecture. I’ve seen the Rococo style and while it’s not my personal style, I enjoy the ornateness of it and it is memorable.
    Laurel recently posted..Hiking in Kananaskis

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I wouldn’t want Rococo in my house except for a few small accent pieces but I love ornate architecture. It just seems to go better in the larger-than-life buildings!

  8. Love Love Love Rococo extravagant, over the top, tacky?? The Met in New York has a Rococo Room or two with a typical parlour and bedroom decorated with period furniture a feast for the eyes if not a tad bit overwhelming. I can smell the cigar smoke and brandy still.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      The way you describe Rococo is spot on! Next time I am in NYC I will definitely make a point of spending more time at the Met!

  9. Arti says:

    Very interesting and amazingly beautiful!
    Arti recently posted..Other Places in Badrinath Part I – The Alaknanda River- Brahma Kapal Ghat

  10. Mark Wiens says:

    Hey Debbie,
    I enjoyed the refresher of Rococo style. I graduated from university with a degree in global studies emphasized in world art and history, so I remembered some of this from some courses I took. Rococo is very luxurious, but beautiful to look at!
    Mark Wiens recently posted..Photo Essay- Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’m envious of your studies in world art and history. They are both subjects I wish I had paid more attention during my education!

  11. I’ve never heard of Rococo architecture. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sophie says:

    I love rococco. It’s so over the top in the most delicious way. The fabulous domes of Kiev, the Vienese palaces, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg…

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      “It’s so over the top in the most delicious way.” I love this! It is so true. Rococo is amazing.

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