Rococo Art and Architecture, Baroque Gone Wild
Across Europe, eye-popping Rococo art featured aristocrats playing in their palaces and picnicking in their bucolic backyards: pleasure gardens that stretched to the horizon…as if their divine-right world would go on forever.
Complete Video Script
[102, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna] By the mid-1700s, Baroque had morphed into a style called "Rococo." If Baroque was controlled exuberance, Rococo was uncontrolled exuberance. As if the divine monarchs and aristocrats needed ever-more over-the-top art to flaunt their privileged status, their art became even fancier — ultimately with the focus more on the decoration than on the subject itself.
 Baroque's curved lines became Rococo's even curvier lines. Circles became ovals. Everything glowed with gilding and plenty of mirrors. Rococo was like Baroque that got shrunk in the wash: lighter, frillier, and more delicate.
[104, mostly Würzburg Residenz, Franconia, Germany] In the decor of this royal palace you can see how Rococo is even fancier than fancy Baroque: rooms slathered with enormous wealth, kilos of gold leaf, lots of exotic Asian influence, and eye-popping extravagance.
[105, paintings by Fragonard, Bouchard, and others] The Rococo style was perfect for the new generation of rosy-cheeked aristocrats embracing their carefree lives of leisure as never before…frolicking amid nature…and indulging in every sensual pleasure. The lives of these elites were much like their art: decoration over substance. Across Europe, aristocrats played in their palaces and picnicked in their bucolic backyards: pleasure gardens that stretched to the horizon…as if their divine-right world would go on forever.