French Rococo Architecture


Last time, I mentioned the development of Baroque Architecture in France. Today, I will talk about Rococo Architecture in France. It’s worth talking about. First of all, some historians incorporate Rococo period into the Baroque era. Rococo architecture follows the baroque architecture. Therefor, these two kinds of architectures have lots of similar feature. More to the point, Rococo is not a real architecture, and is more like a style of art for interior decoration.

A Rococo interior in Gatchina.

Rococo style developed in the last phase of Baroque, which it appeared during the 18th century in France and popular during the reign of King Louis XV. “The word comes form the French rocaille, meaning “rock”, and coquillage, meaning “shells,” because of the abundance of flowing, curved forms (Daniel et al., 2008 p270).” Rococo style is against the rigid classical form. Pursuit of freedom is what Rococo theme tries to express. Due to the peacetime in Europe, Rococo spread easily in Germany, Italy, Austria and Russia. By the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution represented the end of excessive style and returned to classicism that as well known as Neoclassicism. Hence, the rococo is the final phase of the Baroque era.

How to distinguish the Baroque Style and Rococo style in architecture?

Firstly, gold is the predominant color in Baroque Architectures. In contrast, Rococo Architecture prefers bright color and less gold, such as blue, pink and white color.

Baroque interior design
The Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Rococo building)

Secondly, Baroque style engaged the serious and heavy theme. However, Rococo style chose a more elegant and graceful version.

Finally, while Baroque style always shows religious theme; Rococo style uses aristocracy to replace religious theme. For example, indoor wall paintings of Rococo style no longer confines God stories. There were lots of paintings to show brownstone aristocratic life.

Baroque wall paintings
Pilgrimage on the Isle of Cythera (Rococo painting)

2 thoughts on “French Rococo Architecture”

  1. All of your blogs seems to amaze me because it is all so new to me. I did not know about how gold was reflected and how we see it. Also the buildings are so beautiful and it is a place I would to explore and learn more about.


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