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18th Century French Furniture

After years of dominance in Italian culture, in the 18th century, new art and furniture styles appeared again in France. As always, people are always looking for new classics. The students of the past have now become teachers and brought the lessons and lessons learned in the past into the furniture design of the 18th century. Due to the high restrictions on people's thoughts during Louis XIV's reign, after Louis XIV passed away, the people's repressive nerves were immediately released and they began to pursue a more comfortable life. Paris, as France's largest cultural centre, began to gradually negate some of the past design concepts, and instead, pursued a more relaxed and free life concept. During the prosperous period of furniture design, a number of new styles were created. And the styles have gradually been copied throughout Europe. Therefore, we should not say 18th-century furniture, but rather 18th-century style furniture, which also represents the characteristics of the entire 18th century. In the 18th century, France created 5 styles in furniture design. These styles are Regence style, Louis XV style, Louis XV to Louis XVI transitional style, Louis XVI style and Directoire style.

Through development, improvement and diversification, French 18th-century furniture, after inheriting some classic elements from the past, has also exerted its unique artistic creativity. For example, the large coffer with drawers and legs is transformed into a commode, and then the size of the large commode is reduced accordingly to make a new small commode, and then there are many types of commodes with two, three or four drawers. The fauteuil or armchair becomes a fauteuil bergere or a fauteuil cabriolet. Two bergeres and a pouffe form a chaise longue. In addition, the form and name of the chair and its use are different. (Such as smoking chairs, nursing chairs, prayer chairs, etc.)

Small Commode

Small Commode

Small Commode

Fauteuil Bergere

Chaise Longue

The most characteristic inventions of the French 18th century were:

  • Corner Cabinets

  • Sloping Writing Desk

  • Cbiffonier (a tall, narrow cabinet with five or six drawers used to contain trinkets and small fabric items)

  • The Bureau a cylinder

  • The Bonbeur du jour (a small table)

  • The Atbenienne

During this period, due to the influence of intellectuals and a group of talented craftsmen, France led the fashion trend and attracted the attention of other European countries.

 

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