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?