Rococo

The rococo period – whether as a style in its own right or as the final phase of baroque – stretches roughly over the time between 1730-1770.

The name stems from ‘rocaille’, a type of decoration typical for its shell ornamentation. In its asymmetry and liveliness, this style allows full expression to the playful lightheartedness of rococo, and this overcomes the strict symmetry of baroque. Rococo is first and foremost a decorative form with often extravagant embellishments of elegant beauty and charm.  In Bavaria, both the Würzburg Residence and the Wieskirche are outstanding examples. But even everyday objects like furniture or porcelain (Meißen) are elaborately decorated in accordance with a refined lifestyle and fine dining. Love of the exotic led to the great popularity of chinese and japanese decoration (chinoiserie), as may be seen in the palaces of Margravine Wilhelmina – the Old Palace of the Eremitage and the New Palace in Bayreuth. ‘Bayreuth Rococo’, with the World Heritage margravial Opera House as its highlight, is an independent regional variation.

During this particularly intensive building period in the Bayreuth principality several churches were built or extended. And it was in particular the court stucco artists J.F. Andreioli and G.B.Pedrozzi, who were both working at the Bayreuth palaces, who created works of art in the margrave churches: Andreioli in Aufsess, the Collegiate Church in Bayreuth, Benk and Trebgast, and Pedrozzi in the Palace Church and the hospital church in Bayreuth as well as in Neudrossenfeld. Woodcarvers also began to incorporate rocaille ornamentation into their work.  And so festive cheerfulness and sensuality entered churches too – to serve the Proclamation of the Word and the glorification of the triune God, to delight the eye and as a foretaste of heavenly Paradise.

(Floral decoration on the stucco ceiling
of Trinity Church, Neudrossenfeld
by G. B. Pedrozzi)

 

 

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