Louis XIV Style (1643–1715)

Louis XIV style reached its maturity around 1685-90. The Sun King and his court, Versailles, were signals of the dawn of the Classical Baroque era.

A sketched, black and white portrait of King Louis XIV of France with his fluffy curls.
Louis XIV of France.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/52fa170a-05c3-4106-b221-a20363e89409 by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives

The Context

Louis XIV made France the most powerful country in Europe. There was a passing from the baroque style, influenced by Italy, to the classical dignity of Louis XIV. Minister Colbert created the royal manufacturing company, Crown Furniture, to bring together painters and carpenters for the promotion of French products. The Louis XIV style can be summed up as a combination of majesty, balance and originality.

A grand, gold apartment of the king at the Palace of Versailles.
Grand appartement du roi – The Palace of Versailles

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/7b70ef67-4792-4687-b271-c1e5c6165aa4 by Jorge Lascar

A grand room with red walls, large intricate paintings and a gold ceiling with three grand paintings.
Salon de Mars – Grand appartement du roi-The Palace of Versailles

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/7ce3da11-0cf6-4c53-af51-cac54eb65c9d by Jorge Lascar

Furniture in this Style

The exaggeration of the Louis XIV style could be found in silver furniture. It was first introduced by Anne of Austria, but became very popular and was brought to England by Charles II. The beauty of this furniture created a new taste for carved wood to replace. Very few people could afford the silver furnishings, and opted for richly carved and decorated wooden furniture instead.

A room with green-colored walls, two gold picture frames with grand portraits, and dark furniture with gold accents. Moreover, the ceiling appear to be gold accented as well.
Louis XIV Furniture Style.- Abundance Salon

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/3e0f3fa2-aa8f-457e-8e56-f4c2b3c1a011 by archer10 (Dennis)

A large room with white walls, and wooden furniture with gold accents that occupy the room.
Louis XIV Furniture Style.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/85dfc2a3-ef3a-4540-84b4-484c60de7096 by dalbera

A design drawing for a Bed in the Roman Style: it has a yellow-accented canopy and two yellow pillows on either end.
Design for a Bed in the Roman Style

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/22a75696-1dbd-412b-b21f-4e6bf31266d2 

Materials and Techniques and Ornament

Using burnished gold, the craftsmen adorned furniture with motifs like scrolls and guilloches, shells, and flowers. They were put together as festoons and sheaves. The addition of other popular trends like acanthus and the cartouche gave luxurious intricacy unknown to the days prior to Louis XIV.

An ornate, gold clock with various angles and women statues surrounding the white-faced clock.
Queen’s Nobles Room

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/7123f2b7-9b5c-4977-9012-8a3bdce72316 by archer10 (Dennis)

Louis XIV's Bedroom with pink poka-dotted furniture and a large, white bed with gold accents.
Louis XIV’s Bedroom

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/4e35b070-409c-4193-853d-5884f1d1b56c by daryl_mitchell

Louis XIV ornament was featured with rigor and symmetry. The sun was his infamous royal emblem and was used along with the fleur-de-lis in his furniture pieces. Moldings were still thick and motifs of human faces, gods, and allegories were common. The gilded bronze decoration was also popular in that period.

Louis XIV's Drawing Room with deep red walls, gold picture frames, a large white fireplace and light-colored chairs sit around the room.
Château of Chenonçeau, this room contains furniture the then owner of the castle received from King Louis XIV, along with a portrait of the king, in memory of his visit to Chenonçeau in 1650.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/310b3b00-bfb4-4aef-beb7-9488c4a9780e by archer10 (Dennis)


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

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