The Influence of Dignitaries and Women on Antique Furniture in the style of Louis XV in the 18th Century in France

In the last article, I introduced the influence of architecture on Louis XV style antique furniture. In this one, I will continue this topic to discuss other factors affecting Louis XV style furniture.

The constant emergence of innovation mentioned in the last issue is not the only reason behind the development of furniture manufacturing. In addition, the beneficial influence of the golden generation of royal aristocrats on art also promoted the creativity of France throughout the 18th century.

There is no doubt that Louis XV is the iconic figure who best represents the era that put women at the center of the world. At that time, there was a saying in France that "what a woman wants is what God wants". I don't think it is accidental. The king’s most famous mistresses, Marquise de Pompadour and Dam Barry, are not "symbols" of sovereign states, but on the contrary (especially in the highly intelligent and sophisticated marquise of Pompadour). Under the influence of Mrs. Du), they are closely involved in the political and cultural life of the country. They pay close attention to every manifestation of fashion and are ready to use their prestige to encourage or inhibit any new development.

Louis XV(1715-1774)

    Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764)

For example, when the Sevres porcelain factory encountered a serious business crisis, it attracted Madame Pompadour, who, with the king’s consent, organized a public sale of porcelain in the gardens of Versailles. Nobles and wealthy bourgeoisie were invited to participate in this event, and their purpose of doing so was not only because it was a social event, but also because they wanted to please the king and his mistress. This is a typical example of public relations in the 18th century. Its purpose is to save a porcelain factory while also inspiring artists or encouraging others to cultivate a love for beautiful things. The importance of women in the 18th century was so great that writers, painters and miniature painters would dedicate their works to outstanding women of the time to ensure their patronage and the support of the entire society.

Sevres Porcelain Factory

Therefore, in this context, furniture is no longer a thing exclusively for men. It is no longer a proof of the social status of the owner of the house. Furniture has become a tool in the relationship between the sexes, aimed at winning the hearts of women in hedonistic and sophisticated society. Women want their furniture to be elegant, practical and valuable. Is there anything more feminine than a female body? This is why the furniture at that time imitated the female body structure. For example, chests of drawers, side tables and other furniture fronts usually suggest a female body, even if it is only symbolic.

Louis XV Commode

Louis XV Console

In the next blog, I will explain how to identify Louis XV style furniture.

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