One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun An 18th-century artistic or architectural style of decoration characterized by elaborate ornamentation with pebbles and shells, typical of grottos and fountains.‘a room with walls in rocaille like those of fountains in a park’as modifier ‘heavy frames of gilt rocaille stucco-work’
- ‘The word was apparently coined in the 1790s by David's students, wittily combining rocaille and barocco, to refer disparagingly to the taste fashionable under Louis XV.’
- ‘The most distinctive decorative style evident during the second period at the factory is rocaille, which was used in three-dimensional forms and in painted surrounds for individual scenes.’
2A tiny ornamental bead.‘rocailles are available in a range of opaque colours’
- ‘It was of colossal figures that would have been of white marble, surfaced in part in rocailles, which would have made them appear to be of a single piece.’
- ‘The bright sunlight poured down on the myriad of rocailles, garlands, leaves, amphorae, birds and cupids.’
French, from roc ‘rock’.
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