(French: rocaille, shellwork)
Name given in the 19th century by French emigres to the style which developed in France about 1715 to 1750; it is also called Style Regence or Louis XV.
It is the climax and degeneration of the Barocco.
In architecture, it is a form of arbitrary ornamentation; the heavy horizontal lines of Barocco are broken by shell-like curves.
The sculpture is effeminate, best suited to light materials.
In painting, this period is represented by the work of Watteau and Boucher, who depicted the artificiality of court life with much beauty of coloring.
The frivolity of this style makes it unsuitable for ecclesiastical art.
New Catholic Dictionary