Rococo Madness! Fascination with Rococo in Silesia (18th–21th c.)

13 July 2023 – 14 January 2024

The National Muzeum team of curators, the coordinator: Piotr Oszczanowski

This exhibition constitutes the first attempt of museology to present the so far largely unnoticed, unappreciated and ignored phenomenon in the history of art in this region.

It also demonstrates the stylistic changes taking place in Silesia in the second half of the 18th century, and then the renewed fascination in these trends in the late 19th and the early 20th century. Finally, it also tries to answer the question of whether the Rococo style is attractive and of interest to modern viewers.

Rococo art in Silesia, whose historical territory also covered the areas which nowadays are part of Czechia, derived from the political changes taking place in this part of Europe in the mid-18th century. The outcome of the three Silesian wars (1740–1763) led to the region passing to Prussian rule.

Rococo is characterised by the wealth of its new and unique ornamentation, accompanied by the more delicate styling of objects, their smaller size and more refined, personalised appearance, suited to cosy, private interiors. The artists’ imagination was filled with the fantasy shapes of rocaille, meant to resemble sea shells but with added elements of the so-called cockerel crests, rough sea waves, snails, coral branches shaped like bat wings, feathery trailing plants, subtle floral decors and Regency grille.

The exhibits include paintings, sculptures, clothes and fashion accessories, and originate from Polish, Czech and German museums, as well as churches. The exhibition will be accompanied by a published catalogue.