Louis Philippe Style (1830-1848)

The style Louis-Philippe is a French furniture style, in vogue during the reign of Louis-Philippe (1830-1848), also know as “July Monarchy”, which also influenced Architecture and Art.

La Liberté guidant le peuple by Eugène Delacroix, 1830.
La Liberté guidant le peuple by Eugène Delacroix, 1830. Image source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe#/media/File:Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple.jpg

 

WHO was LOUIS PHILIPPE?

Louis-Philippe was the eldest son of Louis-Philippe Joseph de Bourbon-Orléans, Duke de Chartres, and Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre.

He was proclaimed king in 1830 after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate in the wake of the events of the July Revolution of that year.

His reign is characterized by the rapid development and enrichment of the manufacturing and financial bourgeoisie, the extreme poverty of the working classes, and the incessant popular revolts that will ultimately lead to his regime. He was even nicknamed the “Bourgeois King”.

The reign of Louis-Philippe continued until the revolution of 1848, when the Parisian revolutionists forced him to abdicate and flee in exile.

Info source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe; https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-Philippe; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Philippe_I

Louis-Philippe, king of France, detail of a portrait by F.X. Winterhalter
Louis-Philippe, king of France, detail of a portrait by F.X. Winterhalter  Image source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-Philippe

 

about the STYLE

The Louis-Philippe style is animated by a concern for comfort and economy.

Louis-Philippe furniture evokes the comfort of the bourgeois where all of the influences that emerged from the Restoration were mixed: neo-Gothic taste, neo-Renaissance, and the Louis XV style. However, this style finds a certain unity in the ensemble of the pieces that were meticulously fabricated, solid, comfortable, and functional.

We can therefore say that it is a style where the lines are massive and attempt to privilege comfort at the expense of aesthetics.

Info source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe; https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style.html

This Louis-Philippe sofa is characterized by two independent backrests which are linked by a low crosspiece.
This Louis-Philippe sofa is characterized by two independent backrests which are linked by a low crosspiece. Image source: http://www.french-antiques.gallery/louis-philippe-wing-chair-sofa

 

style CHARACTERISTICS:

Among the creations of the Louis-Philippe style are the toad armchair:

  • the “frog leg” motif: know in French “cuisse de grenouille” was very characteristic and found on the legs of furniture and chairs.
Louise Philippe leg.
Louise Philippe leg. Image source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe#/media/File:Style_Louis-Philippe.JPG
  • Innovation: the base of seats and small tables which are often equipped with wheels.
Louis-Philippe round table on wheels.
Louis-Philippe round table on wheels. Image source: https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style-1830.html

Info source: https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style-1830-1848.html; https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe

  • Armchair: features a rather straight shape. Its backrest is usually flat, rather high and often curved on the top. Some models are equipped with a pierced purchase allowing to move them easily and often carved with a flower or volutes decoration. The armrests, usually moulded, stand on slightly curved consoles.
The leg of this Louis-Philippe armchair is turned and its backrest is equipped with a pierced purchase.
The leg of this Louis-Philippe armchair is turned and its backrest is equipped with a pierced purchase. Image source: http://www.french-antiques.gallery/louis-philippe-armchair-squat-voltaire-emblematic-seats-of-this-style/
  • The “squat armchair”: created by Louis Philippe, the higher part of this armchair is completely covered with a tapestry and its backrest and armrests are padded entirely which make it very similar to the wing chair. Wood only appears on its legs and belt. Very comfortable, the squat armchair will be very popular.
The squat armchair, completely covered with a tapestry, is a creation of the Louis-Philippe style.
The squat armchair, completely covered with a tapestry, is a creation of the Louis-Philippe style. Image source: http://www.french-antiques.gallery/louis-philippe-armchair-squat-voltaire-emblematic-seats-of-this-style/
  • Commode: is rectangular in shape and has four to five drawers, one of which is concealed behind the molding of the doucine type located under the top shelf, usually of marble.
Louise Philippe commode.
Louise Philippe commode. Image source: https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style-18301848-pxl-18_28_43.html
  • Material: Light colored woods that were in favor during the Restoration were abandoned for the darker tones of mahogany, oak, and walnut. Marble tops were gray, black or white.
  • Ornament: The ornamental repertory was limited due to machine-assisted production methods. Bronze appliques and marquetry were rare and always inspired by preceding styles: painted bouquets, palmettes, acanthus leaves, shells, stars, or Louis XV style branches.

 

Louis-Philippe period porcelain bouquet holder.
Louis-Philippe period porcelain bouquet holder. Image source: https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style-18301848-pxl-18_28_43.html

Info source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_Louis-Philippe; http://www.timothy-corrigan.com/antiques/knowledge-center/french-furniture-styles-louis-phillippe-1830-1848; https://www.galerie-atena.com/en/library-louisphilippe-style-1830-1848.html