Rococo

A style favored by the aristocracy — particularly in France.

c. 1700 - 1775

Beginner's guide

The sensuality of the Rococo style will soon give way to the seriousness of Neoclassicism on the brink of the French Revolution.

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Architecture in 18th-century Germany
Architecture in 18th-century Germany

German architecture in the 18th century refashioned the imported French Rococo and Italian Baroque styles to create something distinct.

The Formation of a French School: the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture
The Formation of a French School: the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture

The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture oversaw—and held a monopoly over—the arts in France until 1793.

Printmaking in Europe, c. 1400−1800
Printmaking in Europe, c. 1400−1800

The portability and affordability of prints contributed to the exchange of information and ideas between cultures.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, <em>The Swing</em>
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing

What’s that dog yapping about? This mischievous woman throws caution—and her slipper—to the wind.

Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait with her Daughter</em>
Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with her Daughter

Artificial? Moi? This genuine portrait of familial affection challenged assumptions about the aristocracy.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, <em>The Village Bride</em>
Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Village Bride

Complete with barnyard guests, this rural wedding party embodies the Enlightenment idea of “natural” man.

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait</em>
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait

She fled France in disguise, but Vigée Le Brun does little to conceal her face—or her sympathy to Marie Antoinette.

Bernard II van Risenburgh, Writing table
Bernard II van Risenburgh, Writing table

With its organic curves and elegant lines, this meticulously crafted table encapsulates Rococo design.

The Tiepolo Family
The Tiepolo Family

Best known for their allegorical ceiling frescoes, this father-son team also produced cinematic prints.

A beginner’s guide to Rococo art
A beginner’s guide to Rococo art

Flush with power and wealth, French aristocrats pursued all pleasures. Then came the Enlightenment—and Revolution.

Antoine Watteau, <em>Pilgrimage to Cythera</em>
Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera

With its fantastical setting and lovers’ dance, this painting introduced a new genre: the “fête galante.”

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, <em>The Progress of Love: The Meeting</em>
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Progress of Love: The Meeting

In this cycle, Fragonard indulges the viewer’s taste for theatre and pleasure. Subtly is in short supply!

Selected Contributors