In which ways is the rococo style representative of its time? Why?

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Rococo style flourished among the wealthy between about 1730 and 1770, and is mostly associated with the French Bourbon court at Versailles, although it spread throughout Europe.

It is representative of its time because the mid-eighteenth century was a period in which absolute monarchy, expressed most fully by Louis XVI ("I am the state") was as yet unchallenged, and it also represents a time in which colonial wealth continued to flood into Europe, and much of this wealth was captured by the upper classes. In this period of European history, despite the rise of the middle class, the preponderance of wealth was firmly held in the hands of a small group of extremely rich aristocrats and royals

Rococo is most noted for what some have called its "wretched excess," and its adoption reflected the desire of kings (such as the Bourbons) to flaunt their wealth and power to impress others. Rococo is based in the Baroque, which moved away from squares and perpendiculars to embrace the curving, sinuous, and sometimes riotous forms found in nature. Furniture, ceilings, and walls were covered in ways meant to imitate the flow of nature—such as in the coiling, leafy vines made of gilt that often decorated furniture.

Ornamentation became prominent, and, as growth will quickly cover every surface in the natural world, so too were costly embellishments added to rooms and furnishings at every turn. The effect, to a modern aesthetic eye, can be perceived as excessively decadent, but this excess worked perfectly to display the wealth of a confident ruling class.

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Rococo refers to the gaudy but light and elegant decorative style that developed in eighteenth century France. Rococo can be seen as a reaction to the heavier use of filigree and decorative elements in the earlier Baroque style. Much of it was created as a response to King Louis XIV's palace at Versailles and other contemporary aristocratic homes which were sometimes criticized for their overuse of Baroque elements.

Rococo elements in architecture, interior design, and painting often take on an air of lightheartedness. When the French court was moved back to Paris after the death of Louis XIV, many aristocrats adopted this new style. They wished to recreate the carefree elements of the Versailles gardens without the imposing and severe nature of its architecture.

Also, Rococo integrates certain Asian motifs, such as the use of pagodas. During the eighteenth century, trade contacts with the Far East were increasing and more Asian goods were making their way into Europe. Decorative elements from China, in particular, were of an interest to many European designers, who integrated them into their art.

Rococo quickly spread from France to Italy, Germany, and Austria. To a lesser extent, it was used in England, where it was referred to it as "the French style." Although it initially was widely popular, the use of Rococo did not last long. Rococo as a design aesthetic began to fade out of style after the discovery of well-preserved Roman ruins in Italy, which started a trend in neoclassical design. Furthermore, by the latter half of the century, Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire were criticizing the style as being too superficial and unnecessarily gaudy.

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