The Rococo, or late Baroque style, coincided with the reign of King Louis XV (1723-1774) in France, which is why it is also called the ‘Louis XV style’. Its impact was strongest on interior decoration and applied art. Asymmetry and irregularity typify the Rococo, a 19th-century term derived from rocaille (French for rockwork), that is fanciful rock and shell ornamentation. Other Rococo elements are C-scrolls, vines, pastel colours and serpentine lines. In this period graceful shepherds and shepherdesses and Chinoiserie motifs populate porcelain objects, as well as paintings, like those by the French artist Jean Étienne Liotard. This elegant style found a following throughout Europe, and in the 18th-century Netherlands manifested itself in the decorative arts, clothing, portraits and miniatures. Typical of the period are the grisailles imitating stucco reliefs by Jan de Wit called ‘witjes’ (a play on his name, which means white in Dutch).



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