Rococo Style Hand Painted Furniture - Brief History
R O C O C O = L O V E
Well... maybe not in the dictionary but in JVD it does.
We see a lot of posts referring to the Rococo Style as "Shabby Chic" so to clear the record....
IT is FAR from Shabby and should never be disrespected by referring to it as such. Rococo is a style of distinct artistry. The Rococo style can be found in: furniture, paintings, sculptures and interior decor which was created for and is used even today for royal families and the prestigious.
The Rococo style was a huge turning point in European Art. I am pretty sure that the famous artists that spent hours upon hours creating these beautiful pieces, paintings, building and sculptures are probably rolling in their graves hearing what some people are referring this style too. I for one feel a knot in my stomach when I hear or see this style in the hands of someone knowing nothing of the history behind it and it's value.
So.... Here we go: History Lesson 101:
Rococo less commonly rococo or "Late Baroque", was an exuberantly decorative 18th century European style which was the final expression of the baroque movement. It pushed to the extreme the principles of illusion and theatricality, an effect achieved by dense ornament, asymmetry, fluid curves, and the use of white and pastel colors combined with gilding, drawing the eye in all directions. The ornament dominated the architectural space.
There are many different styles of Rococo: French, Italian, British, German, Asian, to name a few.
Look at all this detail, just amazing. Example of Rococo Interiors -Oval Salon of the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris (1735-40)
The Rococo style of architecture and decoration began in France in the first part of the 18th century in the reign of Louis XV as a reaction against the more formal and geometric Style Louis XIV. It was known as the style rocaille, or rocaille style. It quickly spread to other parts of Europe, particularly Bavaria, Austria, Germany and Russia. It also came to influence the other arts, particularly painting, sculpture, literature, music, and theatre. The interior decoration of Rococo rooms was designed as a total work of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.
French Rococo, appeared in Paris during the reign Louis XV, and flourished between about 1723 and 1759. The style was used particularly in salons, a new style of room designed to impress and entertain guests. The most prominent example was the salon of the Princess in Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, designed by Germain Boffrand and Charles-Joseph Natoire.
Juste-Aurele MeissonierNicolas Pineau The characteristics of French Rococo included exceptional artistry, especially in the complex frames made for mirrors and paintings, which sculpted in plaster and often gilded; and the use of vegetal forms (vines, leaves, flowers) intertwined in complex designs. The furniture also featured sinuous curves and vegetal designs.
Between 1680 and 1750 a large number of important palaces and chateaux were constructed in Germany and Austria, as well as abbeys, built by religious orders, which were intended as pilgrimage destinations and were sumptuously decorated. These became the grand showcases of the Baroque movement. They were frequently built by Italian craftsmen, or those who had been trained in Italy. The best known French furniture designer of the period was Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750), who was also a sculptor, painter. and goldsmith for the royal household. He held the title of official designer to the Chamber and Cabinet of Louis XV. His work is well known today because of the enormous number of engravings made of his work.which popularized the style throughout Europe. designed works for the royal families of Poland and Portugal.Italy was another place where the Rococo flourished, both in its early and later phases. Craftsmen in Rome, Milan and Venice all produced lavishly decorated furniture and decorative items.
(Image: Queen Margrethe inside Amalienborg Palace)
Amalienborg Palace is a must for anyone with a taste for royal history and the life of Denmark’s royal family who still resides inside the palace.
Current Interior of Princess Mary & Prince Frederik's Banquet Hall in the Amalienborg Palace.
Image: Christian VII's Palace. Traveling? You can actually view the palace
I hope I shed some light on Rococo Style - We can all agree now to stop referring to it as "shabby" now correct? There is so much to learn and study from the Rococo Style, this post is just an intro. Take some time to learn, Visit Museums, Take a college course on Art History and I promise you, it will change the way you look at things.
If you come across paintings, furniture, sculptures from this style bring them to a certified and licensed antique appraisal company and get at least three different companies to appraise. Do NOT take the advice from anyone who is not certified or licensed for the love of the art!
Below are a few pieces, JVD has done in the furniture category.
Want to bring some "French" into your space on a budget? Here are a few accents pieces easily interchangeable with the seasons.