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Grand Cabinet Du Dauphin / Appartement Du Dauphin

Château de Versailles / Chateau de Versailles

Read about rococo style.


Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, originally meaning the bits of rocky decoration sometimes found in 16th-century architectural schemes. It was first used in its modern sense around 1800, at about the same time as baroque, and, like baroque, was initially a pejorative term (see baroque art and architecture). The revival of the rococo occurred gradually during the 19th century, beginning as a vogue for collecting French 18th-century pictures and furniture and for imitation rococo interiors.


The earliest rococo forms appeared around 1700 at Versailles and its surrounding châteaux as a reaction against the oppressive formality of French classical-baroque in those buildings. In 1701 a suite of rooms at Versailles, including the king's bedroom, was redecorated in a new, lighter, and more graceful style by the royal designer, Pierre Lepautre (1648-1716). Versailles remained the creative center of the rococo until Louis XIV's death, in 1715, after which the initiative passed to Paris. Successive waves of the style during the Regency (1715-23) and the long reign of Louis XV (1723-74) may be seen in such Parisian interiors as the Hôtel de Toulouse - Galerie Dorée, 1718-19, by François Antoine Vassé (1681-1736); the Hôtel de Lassay -- late 1720s, by Jean Aubert (d. 1741); and the Hôtel de Soubise - 1736-39, by Germain Boffrand (1667-1754).

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Taken on September 14, 2008