Fine Classic Antiques Introduction of Louis XVI Furniture
The Louis XVI style dominated Paris around 1770 and continued for a few years after the death of the king in 1793, for which it was named. It affected most of Europe, especially Italy, which disappeared faster than other 18th century styles, swept away by the French Revolution. It represents a continuation of the transitional style, advocating a return to the classical.
Chests of drawers, desks, small tables and armchairs no longer imitate the whimsical, twisted shapes of the Louis XV style; instead, they tend to straighten elegantly curved lines.
Once curvilinear and circular structures were abandoned, the late 18th century saw a return to the traditional parallelepiped shape, with decorative elements inspired by Greek, Roman and Renaissance art, and some in the style of Louis XIV. Buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, Pompeii was excavated in 1763. This event provided new material for the intellectual elite of the time, who were dedicated to finding traces of Pompeii. Create a new art form using ideas from the past.
Base on this, people might think of Louis XVI furniture as a drab expression of classical art, reflecting a return to tediousness. In reality, however, the situation is completely different. It is true that this style draws inspiration from the past and every period of the past, but it manages to avoid any blind imitation by using a range of techniques and materials to transform old themes in original ways. One thing to note is that in the 18th century, people didn't have very rich raw materials at their disposal. The most solid woods used by the cabinet maker at the time were oak and walnut. In addition to these timbers, we need to note the mass production of solid mahogany or mahogany veneer; these represent a style, and these woods were previously only used for pieces of minor importance during the Louis XV period.
In the next blog, we will explore the features of Louis XVI furniture.