18th Century French Regency Furniture
Regent-style furniture first appeared in Paris. The main reason why it was called Regent-style furniture was that Louis XV was still young during that period. It was his cousin Philip II, Duke of Regent Orleans, who took care of the government Therefore, the style inherited by the furniture produced during that period is called the style of the Regency period. This style continued until about 1730. However, due to its own artistic charm, the style of the Regency period is actually longer than this short historical period.
Like all other styles with distinct French characteristics, the Regency style also originated in the French capital. Paris is the center of all new society, politics, and art, where all new things can interact and develop.
During the reign of Louis XIV, who claimed to be the "Sun King ", through his extraordinary political talent, he quickly established his absolute kingship and completely tamed the French aristocracy and church bishops. But because of his pride and arrogance, his extreme desire for honor and power also made the French aristocracy dissatisfied at that time, especially tired of the court life etiquette he established. Therefore, after his death, people instantly felt an unprecedented wind of freedom.
French Louis XIV Commode
French Regency Commode (1720)
The first reaction after Louis XIV's death was to relax the etiquette. This led to the upper class being able to tolerate the existence of the lower class more. Subsequently, they also welcomed those intellectuals who lacked noble lineage but possessed rich imagination, regardless of their origin, to be able to give full play to their talents. Repressed for a long time, longing for a frivolous society to bring an anti-conservative atmosphere, and seek a new, more private lifestyle.
The nobles also abandoned the tedious etiquette of the Palace of Versailles. In the city of Paris, they often gathers in salons opened by princesses and ladies who are trendy. With this background, it means that a door to a new era is being slowly opened by them. This is also in stark contrast with the noble class who could only gather in palaces or magnificent apartments during the reign of the "Sun King", surrounded by huge, shiny sculptures and furniture.
French Louis XIV Mirror
French Regency Mirror (1720)
During the Regency period, all materials used in furniture introduced the concept of curved lines. On the other hand, class barriers are not as insurmountable as before, which opens up a brand-new way for the dialogue between people from different classes. As a result, the desire and pursuit of new tastes and new wishes spread rapidly among people. We have just seen the appearance of apartments in the modern sense.
In the Gothic period, the house was actually a fortress or a cathedral. In the Renaissance, it was a compromise between the house and the fortress, and in the Baroque period it was more like a stage. In the 18th century, it finally became a real residence. Such apartments usually have several salons, many bedrooms, a games room, a library and a small private salon. This has laid a solid foundation for future furniture design.
French Louis XIV Bureauplat
French Regency Bureauplat
The style of the Regency period fully demonstrated a short, fantasy era. Therefore, many people regard it as the most changeable one in the transition style. It is also a historical link, marking the key transition from the flourishing of Louis XIV style furniture to the exquisite and sexy style of Louis XV a few years later.