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Rococo  

Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier

A decorative style of the early to mid-18th century, primarily influencing the ornamental arts in Europe, especially in France, southern Germany and Austria. The character of its formal idiom is marked by asymmetry and naturalism, displaying in particular a fascination with shell-like and watery forms. Further information on the Rococo can be found in this dictionary within the survey articles on the relevant countries.

Richard John

The nature and limits of the Rococo have been the subject of controversy for over a century, and the debate shows little sign of resolution. As recently as 1966, entries in two major reference works, the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and the Enciclopedia universale dell’arte (EWA), were in complete contradiction, one altogether denying its status as a style, the other claiming that it ‘is not a mere ornamental style, but a style capable of suffusing all spheres of art’. The term Rococo seems to have been first used in the closing years of the 18th century, although it was not acknowledged by the ...

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Philip Attwood

(b c. 1720; d London, Dec 3, 1779).

English medallist. He may have been responsible for engraving some admission tickets for the entertainments at Vauxhall Gardens, London, in the 1730s. His first known medals, and his best, are those commemorating the Battle of Culloden of 1746. Both the official medal (gold and bronze; see Hawkins, Franks and Grueber, ii, no. 283) and the larger medal portraying William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, as Hercules (gold, silver and bronze; hfg, ii, 278) demonstrate Yeo’s mastery as an engraver, while the imaginative allegorical reverses combine effectively with decorative Rococo flourishes. In 1749 he was appointed Assistant Engraver to the Royal Mint, London, and in 1775 he was promoted to the position of Chief Engraver, a post he retained until his death. In the 1760s and 1770s he made the dies for a number of coins of George III. His relatively small number of known medals includes the exquisite Cambridge University Chancellor’s medal of ...