Post 5 – Louis XV Furniture


Louis XV

15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774


 The great grandson of Louis the XIV, Louis XV ( Louis the Beloved) ruled France from 1 September 1715 until his death.  His reign marked a time of relative peace and prosperity for France and one of the greatest periods of french design. Louis lived the majority of his life at the palace of Versailles.


 Cultural & Political Influences :


  •  strongly influenced by the royal mistresses: Madame de Pompadour, Madame du Barry amongst others, women at court became powerful
  • the emergence of the “Intellectual Salon” saw  a more intimate rooms to encourage conversation  popular during  the “enlightenment”
  • mystery and intrigue at court was rife as courtiers vied for for favor with the king and the power it brought

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Furniture Style –  Rococo


  •  moved away from the  heavier baroque, symmetrical,  masculine style of Louis the XIV,  to a  highly ornate but lighter style, characterised by elaborate but graceful feminine curves and flowing lines with a taste for asymmetry
  • Smaller more intimate rooms replaced the grand suites
  • Furnishings were always elegant and refined with more emphasis on comfort
  • Furniture was designed to encourage conversation,   lighter frames and curved forms encouraged chairs to be moved rather than placed flat against a wall.
  • Padded seats and backs promoted comfort
  • The popularity of armchairs, sofa’s and day beds explode,   Cabriolet and Bergere armchairs display curved legs became popular
  • Commodes, side tables,  console tables and boudoir furniture is influenced by this popular style
  • New furniture becomes popular:

    • Chiffoniers
    • Writing desks and feminine  roll-top desks
    • Card tables
    • Ladies’  furniture: dressing tables, armoires
  • The mystery, intrigue and scheming  at court saw the inclusion of spring loaded secret draws and compartments in furniture
  • Round or oval dining tables were  popular shapes

Decorative Techniques:


Decorative style remained ornate, highly polished or painted with decorative scenes

  • Rich ornate carving
  • Marquetry inlaid work in woods
  • Gold leaf
  • Highly glossed lacquer techniques
  • Ornamentation in a variety of metals including bronze
  • Inlays of mother-of-pearl and ivory
  • Painting

Decorative Motifs


  • Chinoiserie (Asian /Chinese motifs) – became popular
  • Nature inspired painted decoration flora and fauna, delicate bunches of flowers
  • Painted exotic landscapes
  • Fantasy  animals were often depicted
  • Musical instrumentation
  • Symbols of love such as bows and couples
  • Arabesque pattern and sea shells commonly used

Materials Used


  •  oak, walnut, cherry, ash, plum, chestnut and olive
  • rare woods such as tulip, violet, king woods
  • marbles were richly veined and tinted marbles
  • mother of pearl shell inlay and ivory
  • ornate silks and upholstery fabrics
  • pale blues and gold were popular

 


References:


http://www.timothy-corrigan.com/antiques/knowledge-center/french-furniture-styles-louis-xv-1730-1760

http://www.britannica.com/art/Louis-XV-style

http://www.museumfurniture.com/louisXV/

http://www.frenchheritage.com/FurnitureHistory

https://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Quinze

 


Picture  Source:


http://foter.com/explore/french-louis-xv-chairs

http://foter.com/explore/louis-xv-furniture

http://www.westlandlondon.com/stock/item/11807/detail.htm

http://www.artquid.com/page/14/the-louis-xv-style.html

http://www.allartnews.com/bonhams-butterfields-to-hold-one-of-the-most-unique-fine-furniture-auctions-ever/

http://frenchantiques.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/history-of-french-styles-louis-xv.html

http://www.sothebys.com/fr/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.98.html/2012/important-mobilier-sculptures-et-objets-dart

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