Restoration Style (1660–1685)

Restoration Style was named Carolean style: during the restoration of Charles II monarchy it was used in England.

Portrait of Charles II; from a picture once in the Oak Room at Cashiobury
Portrait of Charles II; from a picture once in the Oak Room at Cashiobury

 Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/336b5818-5427-4560-8215-340a56a67a41

History of Carolean Style

The Carolean style or Restoration Style is about English decorative arts, which became popular after Charles II came back to the throne in 1660. The return from exile on the Continent led brought to the elimination of the Puritan severity in the country. A completely new taste for magnificence and opulence and the introduction of Dutch and French artistic influences created a whole new sensibility.

File:Honoré Pelle-bust of Charles II-Victoria and Albert Museum.jpg
Charles II portrait bust, Honor Pelle, 1684- Victoria and Albert Museum

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/298b2878-3b7b-4f51-8758-c02adff4b4ab by Yair Haklai

Restoration period Masterpieces

Squerryes Court in Westerham was a beautiful estate of red bricks. This mansion was built for Sir Nicholas Crisp, who purchased Squerryes in A.D. 1680. It is a manor house that was conceived in the Restoration period.

Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent
Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/82470492-e6e9-438b-b674-e8c752d7616a by L2F1

Ham House in Richmond was restored in the 1670s by the Duke of Lauderdale. The architect was William Samwell. The interiors are richly adorned with baroque murals on the ceilings by Antonio Verrio.

Old Father Thames Statue Outside Ham House, Richmond - London.
Old Father Thames Statue Outside Ham House, Richmond – London.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/c6246283-b2e7-4dc2-8486-d471f4ec97ef by Jim Linwood

Charles II wanted the architect Hugh May to supervise the modernization of the Royal Apartments in Windsor Castle, the largest baroque State Apartments in England. The extravagant appearance of his new interiors was heightened by very expensive textiles and wonderful tapestries, which, to be preserved, were exposed when the King and Queen lived in residence.

St Georges Hall, Windsor, which was destroyed in the great fire of 1992.
St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle, which was destroyed in the great fire of 1992.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ac98ffa1-797a-4344-a773-74d1096b2375 by Ian A Gratton

Characteristics of Restoration Style

These are the main features of this style:

  • CURVING FORMS

Flowing forms were a feature of the Restoration style. Particular carvings and high-relief decorations created a sense of dynamism that was gracefully contained by the symmetry of the overall design;

  • RICH FINISHES

Ornate, rich finishes were very popular. Gold and silver were used to embellish wood and leather;

  • SPIRAL COLUMNS

Spirally twisted forms were used to create supports;

  • NATURAL MOTIFS

Fruit, flowers, and acanthus leaves had long been used to decorate items of furnitures;

Small desk with folding top (bureau brisé), Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, 1639–1715, active France), Oak, pine, walnut veneered with ebony, rosewood, and marquetry of tortoiseshell and engraved brass; gilt bronze and steel, French, Paris
Small desk with folding top , ca. 1685 Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, 1639–1715, active France), French, Paris

Images source: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/207667?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Charles+II+furnitures&offset=60&rpp=20&pos=78

Armchair, Walnut; modern velvet, British
Armchair ca. 1685–89-Walnut; modern velvet, British

Armchair, Walnut; modern velvet, British

Images source: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/194530?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Charles+II+furnitures&offset=80&rpp=20&pos=98


Info source:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-II-king-of-Great-Britain-and-Ireland