Focus on the Louis XV style

The Louis XV style The 18th century marks the golden age of French and European furniture The Louis XIV, Regency, Louis XV, Transition and Louis XVI styles have all, as much as the others, marked an evolution in the history of furniture. Louis XV style stands out for its hitherto unseen elegance and refinement The creation of new furniture, smaller and more refined, will come to dress the salons of private mansions decorated by the women of the Court... On the death of Louis XIV, the latter ordered that the young Dauphin be taken to Vincennes to breathe better air This event was the starting point for a general dispersion of the court Social life then ceased to be concentrated in one only point But the reign of Louis XV is also marked by the influence of gallant and distinguished women, who received in their salons, writers and philosophers Strong of a great influence on the Court, they distinguished themselves by crazy expenses, stimulating artistic creation and certainly contributing to the fame of French furniture of this period Radical Changes in Furnishings Previously, the exterior and the magnificence took precedence The ancient buildings and those of Italy, which were taken as models, showed very vast interiors and without any convenience The layout of the spaces was made for the organization of large receptions The galleries stretched as far as the eye could see, and the staircases were extraordinarily grand Representation was the sole purpose of housing, and comfort was totally unknown and ignored If the emphasis was on grandeur, the need to create an environment commensurate with man will be de rigueur under Louis XV Modern hotels will now be equipped with a whole distribution of rooms, with hidden stairs and the amenities necessary for servants Small rooms create intimacy and are increasingly specific: we find the music room, the company, the writing cabinet… Which it is necessary to furnish! Let’s take a closer look at the Louis XV style… The Louis XV style is the result of a major technical advance: the perfect mastery of the assemblies and the resistance of the wood which makes it possible to eliminate the heavy spacers, to lighten the frames and to dare the curved legs. The inventors of the Louis XV style revolutionized the way we look at furniture They are creators in their own right, in the modern sense of the term Luxurious and precious, the Louis XV furniture is nevertheless not intended to be majestic, moreover the gilded wood is abandoned and reserved only for joinery furniture Refinement under Louis XV takes precedence over comfort and pageantry The furniture itself changes Small practical furniture multiplies and diversifies Furniture, with more modest proportions, will therefore be integrated into this new architecture Secretaries, flying tables, chests of drawers, game tables, corner cupboards, bedside tables… multiply with a refinement and a sense of well-being characteristic of the century A feminine style The Louis XV style is characterized as charming, elegant, light Most often commissioned by and for women, who as said previously have a growing place at court, Louis XV furniture is marked by femininity The style is indeed in the image of its King who seeks neither grandeur nor majesty, but charm He is thus gallant, refined, exuberant and whimsical, and seeks to seduce. Thus, as under the Regency, the curve reigns supreme in the art of furniture The lines are systematically softened, the curves are S or C The Louis XV style resolutely opts to camouflage straight lines with patterns or moldings Thus, this new style is marked by a number of innovations: - The curved foot is an evolution of the feet in the shape of animal paws: the model of the lion's paw is now replaced by that of the crow's feet - We are witnessing the reappearance of asymmetry which was only present in the Middle Ages This results in an impression of fantasy, without being able to say why at first glance - The furniture is redesigned to occupy the total space of the rooms and is no longer only intended to be glued to the walls The backs of the backs of the seats are then more worked, the side panels scalloped ornamentation Louis XV furniture will show an unparalleled wealth of invention, as well as a formidable quality, and will be voluntarily very ornamented, the whole having to be at the same time graceful, elegant and luxurious. The use of oak for buildings will become widespread and supplant the fir tree, which was very frequently used under Louis XIV. In order to extend the range of colors, the veneers will diversify Woods with more shimmering colors such as rosewood, violet, amaranth, mahogany… will become the master woods to the detriment of ebony The end of the Louis XV style In 1719 archaeological excavations brought to light the ancient city of Herculaneum, then of Pompeii in 1749 These rediscoveries will upset the world of decorative arts and the antique style will be honored All this announces the end of the Louis XV style , giving way to the Transition style which will lead to the Louis XVI style