Louis XIV

For the first time in the history of furniture, we are witnessing the creation of a decorative style (from 1661 to 1715) which was created in the image of its monarch. Under Louis XIV, the furniture of ceremonial, by its luxury and its worked decorations, participates in the strategy of pomp and decorum in order to dazzle the world beyond France. It is at this time that was created the famous furniture of massive silver that will be melted in 1689 in order to replenish the coffers of the state.

 

Features :

The Louis XIV style is characterized by the triumph of classicism, the furniture remains essentially geometrical and we find the perfect symmetry in their constructions and their decors. The furniture of marquetry of tortoiseshell, copper, pewter ... occupies the first place, but one also finds in the bourgeois furniture which are less luxurious the use of massive wood. Gilded bronze is used extensively to make chandeliers, candlesticks and cartels, but also as ornaments that will be clad on furniture. The sculptured and golden wood finds a massive use: consoles, candlesticks, pier glass accompany a set of seats going of the vast stool to the comfortable armchair to auricles....

The seats are wide and have a low seat, their feet can be consoled, sheathed, balustered or clawed and retains a strut cross-shaped H or X. The feet and arms are already fretted .

The tables are very carved, often covered with marble or a mosaic of colored stones. At that time, the creation of various pieces of furniture such as the flat desk, the wall-mounted table, the chest of drawers created by Charles Boulle. The beds with four columns are decorated with hanging with a sky of bed "to the duchess", the bed of rest appears as well as the wardrobe-library. The chandeliers, lanterns and arms are made of wood or gilded bronze, the chandeliers are decorated with tassels.

The decorative elements are impressed with mythology, flora and fauna but also with architecture, or with the warrior world. In the Louis XIV style, among other things, are garlands of fruits and flowers, masks, acanthus leaves, lion's head, cornucopia, fleur-de-lys (symbol of the monarchy), Trophies to the antique and diamond-shaped playgrounds that are very characteristic.

 

Main Artists :

  • Philippe Poitou (1642-1709): Master carpenter in ebony in 1672
  • Pierre Gole active between 1656 and 1684
  • Doménico Cucci active from 1660 to 1698
  • Jean Oppenordt
  • André Charles Boulle: Cabinetmaker, gilder and sculptor of the King between 1672 and 1732
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