Louis XV Style – Louis Quinze (1723-1774)

Louis XV style is a type of Rococò style, characterized by the superior craftsmanship of 18th Century cabinetmaking in France.

A room furnished in the Louis XV style, Salon des Huets, Paris, France
A room furnished in the Louis XV style, Salon des Huets, Paris, France. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Quinze#/media/File:Musée_Nissim_de_Camondo_-_Salon_des_Huets.JPG

 

Who is Louis XV ? 

Louis XV of France, born in 1710, is the great-grandson of Louis XIV and was officially crowned in 1722.

Datable to the personal reign of Louis XV (1723–1774), the style was characterised by supreme craftsmanship and the integration of the arts of cabinetmaking, painting, and sculpture. It was a French Rococo style in the decorative arts, and, to a lesser degree, architecture.


Info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Quinze

Portrait of Louis XV
Portrait of Louis XV. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XV_of_France#/media/File:LouisXV-Rigaud1.jpg

 

WhICH are the MOST IMPORTANT Louis XV style artists  ?

The proponents of this style produced exquisite Rococo decor for the enormous number of homes owned by royalty and nobility during the reign of Louis XV. Emphasis was laid on the ensemble, so that painters and sculptors became a part of the decorative arts.

Some of the famous names connected with the finest in Louis XV Rococo style are those of the painter François Boucher; the sculptor, painter, and decorator Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier; the German craftsman J.Francoise Oeben (whose intricate floral marquetry and ingenious mechanical specialities are extraordinary); and Pierre Migeon, a favourite of Madame de Pompadour.

Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/Louis-XV-style

madame de pompadour, Francois Boucher, 1759 example of rococò painting
Madame de Pompadour, Francois Boucher, 1759, example of rococò painting. Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritratto_di_Madame_de_Pompadour#/media/File:François_Boucher_017.jpg

 

Louis XV Style Characteristics :

Louis XV furniture combines usefulness with elegance. Chairs have:

  • curved legs
  • floral decorations(foliage and flowers dominated the theme of the ornament with blossoms, sprays and tendrils, reeds, branches of palm and laurel)
  • comfortably padded seats and backs, yet sacrifice nothing in design.
  • deliberately asymmetrical, although contriving always to maintain a harmonious balance within the larger scheme of decor.
French Rococo chairs with curved legs and floral decoration
French Rococo chairs with curved legs and floral decoration. Image source: http://www.antiquefurniture.com/antique-rococo-furniture/

It was the fashion for each home to have at least two complete sets of furniture: for summer and winter.

 

Motifs:

Fantasy played a large part in motifs, with curious animals and exotic landscapes adorning all surfaces. Rare woods such as tulip, lemon tree, violet, and king woods were used for sumptuous effects, and richly veined and tinted marbles were also imported. Shells and wave-like motifs can be found on antique furniture of the Rococo Period such as armoires, tables and chairs. Foliage and seashells were Also carved into beds and mirror frames.

Armoire with wave-like motifs anf foliage
Armoire with wave-like motifs and foliage. Image source: http://www.antiquefurniture.com/antique-rococo-furniture/antique-rococo-furniture2/

 

Materials:
  • Ornamentation in all sorts of metal (in particular bronze)
  • tinted marbles
  • inlaid work in woods
  • metal,
  • mother-of-pearl
  • ivory
  • woods like beech, walnut, or cherry
  • as well as the pinnacle of achievement in lacquered chinoiserie (The fashion for Chinese lacquer had an influence on European).
Wooden box in Louis XV style
Wooden box in Louis XV style
Dressing table in Louis XV style
Dressing table in Louis XV style 

Images source: http://www.museumfurniture.com/louisXV

 

Chaned chairs:

Caned chairs and canapés were extremely fashionable under Louis XV, and they were fitted with loose seat cushions. The frames were generally made of beech, walnut, or cherry.

Caned chair in Louis XV style
Caned chair in Louis XV style

Info and image: http://www.museumfurniture.com/louisXV

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