style of 18th-century painting and decoration characterized by lightness, delicacy, and elaborate ornamentation. The rococo period corresponded roughly to the reign (1715-74) of King Louis XV of France. Its exact origins are obscure, but it appears to have begun with the work of the French designer Pierre Lepautre, who introduced arabesques and curves into the interior architecture of the royal residence at Marly, and with the paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau, whose delicate, color-drenched canvases of lords and ladies in idyllic surroundings broke with the heroic Louis XIV style.
From encarta.msn.com
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