This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
SOME usually careful writers refer to Baroque and Rococo almost as if the terms were interchangeable. Both are the fruit of the great Romantic impulse, and the latter is directly successive to the former, one drifting into the other. The present writers wish, however, to make clear that the difference between them is more radical than has yet been pointed out. It is a bit startling - is it not? - to say that there is a larger divergence between these two Romantic developments than there is between the Classic Renaissance and the Romantic Baroque; and yet is it not so! "By their fruits ye shall know them" - do not pieces of Renaissance and Baroque furniture accompany each other better than pieces of Baroque and Rococo? Try the experiment and see: for we are seeking practical results.
We have already found that notwithstanding the difference in spirit and contour, likeness in size and weight, material and its colour, finish and upholstery, may all unite properly chosen pieces of Renaissance and Baroque furniture. On the other hand, the Rococo in its full development is slender, smaller, lighter, graceful, spirited and gay; walnut was generally used and sometimes oak, but, frequently, these pieces were painted or enamelled and sometimes gilt: to its upholstery may for the first time be applied the word exquisite. Furthermore, and for much the same reason, Rococo mobiliary forms do not well accompany those of the preceding reign, though during it there was so great a departure from usual Baroque forms - they also are widely different in spirit and effect In the story of the period we see why this was so.