The Hepplewhite style, which bears the name of its creator George Hepplewhite, was considered elegant and trendy during its time.
Who was George Hepplewhite?
George Hepplewhite was an English cabinetmaker and furniture designer whose name is associated with Neo-classicism, yet not so much is known about him. After he died in 1786, his widow, Alice, continued his work. In 1788, she published a book featuring about 300 projects, “The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers Guide.” Further, the book influenced cabinetmakers for several years.
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Carvings were important features of his designs. He preferred satinwood and sycamore for unusual veneering, and on his satinwood panels, there are decorative paintings of Angelica Kauffman, Michael Angelo Pergolesi, and other Italian artists. Additionally, sideboards and desks were decorated with carved details employed with chaste restraint.
Hepplewhite Style Characteristics
The furniture designed by Hepplewhite was a deep rethinking of the neo-classical model, beginning to a new way of conceiving furniture. Recurrent characteristics are:
- Shield-shaped chair back and delicate carving
- Upholstered seats
- Straight, tapered legs
- Mix of classical-inspired and authentic ancient motifs
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