Rococo style appeared in France around 1700 and an excellent example of this style is the Hotel de Soubise in Paris. This interior was designed by Germain Boffrand in 1737 and is one of the best preserved examples of Rococo style.
We stumbled upon the Hotel de Soubise by accident, and thought we were actually in the Musee Carnavalet which is next door. It was completely empty of tourists so it was an amazing experience being able to see everything and have complete quiet to absorb the ornate details.
Previously society entertained in grand palatial spaces, but it shifted to a more intimate setting with parties gathering in private residences. This is the point at which Rococo style was introduced, softening the stronger architectural lines of the Baroque period such as that found at the Palace of Versailles. This softening also representing women’s stronger influence in taste and society with them taking a more prominent role as hostesses holding salons and competing for the most accomplished guests to attend.
Rococo is characterized by the use of Rocaille shells, soft tendrils, and sinuous curves forming an organic natural style of decoration. The walls, cornice, and ceiling were molded together into one apparent form.