Arts, Culture & Media

New York Rococo exhibition (Geo answer)

Today's Geo Quiz is very Rococo. Have you ever wondered where the term "Rococo" comes from?

"It's based on the word "rocaille" which is the French word for shell encrusted rock work of the type that appears in grottos, combined with the Italian word "barocco" for Baroque and the idea being that this is sort of rock and shell encrusted baroque gone to the extreme."

Think "over the top" or maybe "bling". But remember that Rococo art made its debut during the age of Louis XV back in the 18th century. One city in France was a haven for Rococo artists and it's the city we're looking for in our quiz today.

Place StanislasPlace Stanislas

It's located in northeastern France in the region of Lorraine. Wrought iron gates, hand carved furniture, even snuff boxes there were lavishly adorned with Rococo curves and flowing designs.

Covered tureen and platter: Juste-Aurele Meissonnier (French 1695-1750) photo courtesy of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum from its exhibition, Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730?2008Covered tureen and platter: Juste-Aurele Meissonnier (French 1695-1750) photo courtesy of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum from its exhibition, Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730?2008

More about a major new exhibit of this stuff is a click away, but first name the French city of Rococo...

Today's Geo Quiz is all about the curve, because the curve is the essence of Rococo. One city that Rococo radiated out of in the 1750's, and the answer to our Geo Quiz, was Nancy, France.

To learn more about the Rococo art movement during its heyday in Nancy, France, listen to our interview with Sarah Coffin and Ellen Lupton, curators of "Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730-2008", an art exhibition that runs from March 7- July 6 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Listen to the interview:

The exhibition explores Rococo style and its continuing revivals up to present, and features furniture such as a Venetian writing desk, decorative arts, prints, drawings and textiles. It examines the forms of this free-spirited 18th century style that continues to inspire 21st century artists.

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