The Rococo Period

the style of the rococo 

In terms of a Rococo definition, if there was  ever an aristocratic French art style, Rococo is it.  Rococo designs were incredibly theatrical and ornamental, designed to impress and communicate wealth.

origins of the term

The term was used to describe architecture, music, sculpture, and design that was overly ornamental.

french rococo

Rococo flourished in France between 1723 and 1759, with the design being most prominent in salons.

italian rococo

Venice was the epicenter of Italian Rococo, with Venetian glassware being a significant part of the period.

southern german rococo

It was in Southern Germany and Austria that the Rococo style reached its peak.

interior design

Interior design was the spark of the Rococo period. Although the style dominated painting, sculpture, and music, it started as a style of interior design.


Rococo furniture was free-standing, which helped to add lightness and versatility to a room desired by the aristocracy.

painting: subject matter

Themes of youth, love, play, classical myths, idyllic landscapes, and portraits are typical of Rococo painting.

painting: color palette

Rococo artists created lighthearted scenes with light pastel colors.


The sculpture of the Rococo period was dynamic, theatrical, colorful, and had a great sense of movement.


The Golden age of Rococo fashion was around 1745 when a more oriental and exotic culture known as a la turque became popular in France.

Our List of Famous Rococo Artists

Francois Boucher (1703 - 1770)

Jean-Honore Fragonard  (1732 - 1806)

Elisabeth Louise Vigee le Brun  (1755 - 1842)

the decline of the rococo style

The ridicule of Rococo as superficial and frivolous spread to Germany by the end of the 18th century.  Although Rococo managed to remain popular in Italy, it was wiped out by the Empire Style second wave of Neoclassicism.