Rococo

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Rococo (less commonly roccoco; pronounced /rəˈkoʊkoʊ/, /roʊkəˈkoʊ/) also referred to as "Late Baroque" is an 18th century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. It was largely supplanted by the Neoclassic style. In 1835 the Dictionary of the French Academy stated that the word Rococo "usually covers the kind of ornament, style and design associated with Louis XV's reign and the beginning of that of Louis XVI". It includes therefore, all types of art produced around the middle of the 18th century in France.

The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French rocaille, meaning stone, and coquilles, meaning shell, due to reliance on these objects as motifs of decoration.[1] It may also be related to the Portuguese barroco (which refers to an irregularly shaped pearl),[2] or Baroque style. Owing to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely modish. When the term was first used in English in about 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". However, since the mid-19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.

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