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The famous and highly influential 17th Century interior designers and architects such as Robert Adam, William Kent, James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and Horace Walpole made opulent and luxurious designs such as Baroque and Rocco in fashion; influenced by cultures and civilizations around the world, including Europe and new Asian trade partners.

The Baroque Style:

Popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, characterized by luxury, drama and ornate detail, this interior designing style began in Italy and quickly spread to Europe. The style impacted upon all areas of art and design. The Baroque style buildings were dramatic and dynamic, both using and breaking the rules of Classical architecture. The chateau of Versailles, near Paris, France, was the most famous and influential example of Baroque.

Baroque was a bold style with paintings, sculpture and decorative arts full of action and strong feelings portrayed in them. Figures expressed a sense of realistic immediacy as if stopped in mid-action. Paintings and architecture through to sledges and tableware displayed human figures in various art forms. The facial expression, pose and gesture added a tinge of drama to this art form.

The facades in the Baroque style, were full of movement with twisted columns, with curved and oval ground plans. On the interior, ceilings were painted such that they seemed open to the sky, hidden windows illumined domes and altars. Through these designs, meanings and emotions were conveyed such as the repetitive components on the endless porticos of Baroque palaces, indicating absolute power.

The Baroque style had a fascination with physical materials and serious interest in the nature and meaning of virtuoso art objects made of rare and precious substances gained popularity. Rare East Asian porcelain and lacquer became trendy and were copied in Europe.

The Rococo Style:

Rococo, a style of interior design, derived from the French word ‘rocaille’ which means rock or broken shell motifs used to decorate grotto interiors that can be seen in the Solitude Palace in Stuttgart and the best example is the Amalienburg Nympenburg palace in Germany.

Also known as “late Baroque”, this early 18th century artistic movement and style, affected many aspects of architecture, interior design, decoration and other forms of art. It developed in Paris and the Rococo artists and architects used a more flamboyant and graceful approach to the Baroque. The Rococo style had witty and playful themes; their style was decorative and used light colors, asymmetrical designs, broken curves and gold. The main characteristics of Rococo style were natural motifs-the acanthus leaf, elaborate carved forms, asymmetry and S and C scrolls.

Rococo style was full in control, sportive and sculptured forms expressed with abstract ornament using flaming, leafy or shell-like textures in asymmetrical bends and embellishments. Walls, ceiling, furniture and works of metal and porcelain presented a picturesque, curious and whimsical feature expressed in carved wood and stucco.

The interior was a total work of art with elegant and lavish furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors and tapestry complimenting architecture reliefs and wall paintings.