The Defining Characteristics of Baroque and Rococo Styles

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During the Baroque and Rococo eras, changes in historical, social and religious context had a great impact on the approach to design at the time. This essay will show, through critical reflection and through analysis of examples of furniture and product design, how historical, social and religious transformations affected design style and philosophy during those eras. Moreover, this essay will address the concept of absolutism and its impact on design at the time; the evolutionary nature of design styles; and explore defining characteristics of the Baroque and Rococo styles. This essay will make use of the following examples of furniture and product design that, due to their characteristic representation of the Baroque and Rococo eras, will help support discussions: Baroque-styleAmerican cupboard, Baroque dressing table, Baroque-style dresser, Rococo bouquetier, Rococo microscope, Rococo pier-table. In this essay, it is important to understand what is meant by the following terms in the context of the time period. The concept of absolutism plays an important role in the evolution from Baroque to Rococo. Absolutism refers to the single fixed idea or mind set with regards to political, philosophical or theological matters. Absolutism also refers to ‘absolute monarchy’ or ‘despotic monarchy,’ which is the political doctrine of vesting all power and authority in a single ruler. In the context of this essay, King Louis XIV is well known for his absolute sovereign rule in France.
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