Segments in this Video

More than Frilly (02:53)


The Rococo Age occurs around 1700 to 1790. It is more of a tendency or tone than an art movement. Travel becomes important during this era.

Pilgrimage and Art (03:28)

Pilgrimage has a big impact on art. Host, Waldemar Januszczak visits the Nymphenburg in Munich.

Neumann's Rococo Masterpiece (03:10)

Listen to the story of Vierzenhnheilgen's history and a shepherd's account of the 14 Saints. Balthasar Neumann is the architect who builds the church.

Baroque Gone Mad (03:04)

The word "rococo" is a combination of the French word for shell and the word "baroque." It is originally intended as an insult.

Rococo in Venice (03:56)

Canaletto's work is typically sneered at by critics. Januszczak believes the painter is a genius and dicusses his early work.

Canaletto's Transformation (02:17)

Around 1728, Canaletto's work transforms from gothic and grubby to sunny and lucid. The painter adapts to English art as travelers journey to Venice.

Truth Becomes Fantasy (02:38)

Canaletto uses the camera obscura to capture a scene. The camera projects an image that can be traced by the user.

Rhino Mania (03:07)

Rococo art becomes transfixed with the rhinoceros unicorns. Clara the rhino arrives from India in 1741 and is taken on a grand tour through the European capitals. Listen to Clara's Disney-like story.

Unexpected Animals (03:07)

Januszczak points out the primitive inelegance in Rococo art. He believes that Rococo leans toward the opposite of what is typically favored in animals.

Fancy Porcelain (03:54)

It is estimated that Augustus the Strong fathers between 350-360 children. He collects 20,000 rare and expensive pieces of porcelain art.

Porcelain in Europe (02:56)

Porcelain makers in China keep instructions on how to make the art a secret. Augustus II imprisons Johann Friedrich Bottger and forces him to find a way to make it. By 1710, he is successful.

Oriental Illness (03:30)

Stories circle around Europe about powerful oriental emperors, and Augustus II builds a monument to his porcelain based on these rumors. Frederick the Great builds Sanssouci based on similar rumors.

Extraordinary Spectacle (02:57)

Neumann begins work on Wurzburg Residence in 1720. Januszczak walks through the magnificent rooms and describes the history behind it.

Largest, Continuous Ceiling Fresco (04:32)

Look at the work of Giovanni Tiepolo. He is lured to Germany from Italy to work on Wurzburg Residence. Januszczak describes details of his work.

London Behind the Scenes (04:14)

Canaletto moves to London for 9 years. He is criticized for depicting the city too much like Venice. Januszczak defends the artist, believing that Rococo artists paint with their spirits.

Canaletto at Warwick (03:01)

Januszczak visits Canaletto's home in Soho, the Italian community. Canaletto begins traveling to England for inspiration, and soon discovers and paints Warwick Castle. Two years later he is invited to return.

Church in the Meadow (02:41)

Januszczak visits Wieskirche. He describes the church's history and how Wies becomes an essential pilgrimage destination.

Rococo Illusion (03:28)

Outside the church, the roof looks straight and ordinary, but inside it appears to be bulging with space. Look at a diagram that explains how it works.

Credits: Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 1 (00:23)

Credits: Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 1

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Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 1

Part of the Series : Understanding Art: Rococo
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In this film, look at the rise and influence of Rococo. From approximately 1700 to 1790, this Rococo era saw the first great age of leisure travel as the wealthy of Europe found pilgrimage in "The Great Tour." Along this tour, artists and architects embarked on a quest to combine reality with whimsy as old cultural boundaries were being changed and redefined. From Robinson Crusoe to Canaletto, take a look at the climate and culture as well as the brilliant work that came out of Rococo.

Length: 61 minutes

Item#: BVL111608

ISBN: 978-1-68272-624-2

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.