Rococo was born in France at the court of Louis XV, Palace of Versailles, then France became the capital of art. Characteristics: refined, elegant and bright. The typical Rococo subjects are secular, so they are the typical subjects of the court (banquets, dances) and have the function of exalting the monarch. The characteristics of the architecture are of the Enlightenment type: when a building is designed it must be in tune with the external environment (already occurred in the Renaissance).
In this period the palace was born (residence of the sovereign and exercising his power) must be in harmony with the environment through the gardens which can be of three types:
• ITALIANA: labyrinth, fountains;
• FRENCH: very scenographic, with geometric shapes;
• IN ENGLISH: artifice (human intervention) is used less, thus enhancing the natural effect
In 1700 the Rococo merged with the Baroque, taking the name of Baroque. Rococo spread in Italy above all in the area of Naples (kingdom of the Barboni), in the kingdom of the Savoy and in Rome, where it provides this style especially in the Trevi Fountain. Although Italy is not capable of creating something new, it still remains the favorite destination of artists.
In 1631 Louis XIII commissioned the architect Louis Levau to expand it and give it a Rococo look, Levau transformed the original building from a rectangular “U” plan, with three courtyards of progressively decreasing dimensions leading to the main facade. In the second phase Mansart modifies the side, adding the theater and the court chapel.
Austere and monumental style inspired by late Baroque ways, it shows a surprising decorative exuberance that had to respond to the sovereign’s need for self-celebration. The painter who took care of the paintings was Le Brun who created allegorical paintings and drawings concerning the setting up of the garden. Le Brun also designed the French garden.
In Vienna as an example of the Rococo style is Schorun Castle. In Central and Eastern Europe, Rococo found its greatest refinement by reworking Borromini’s Baroque, making it more elegant. Example: the church of Wies
The choir is grafted onto the body of the building, introducing a delicate chromatism.
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