Louis XIV – Louis Quatorze 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 in art.

King Louis XIV, France / Roi Louis XIV de France
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 of Crown furniture bringing together painters and wood carpenters to promote exportation of French products. The Louis XIV style can be summed up as follows:

  • MAJESTY
  • BALANCE
  • ORIGINALITY
Grand appartement du roi - 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

Salon de Mars - Grand appartement du roi
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. It 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. In modest houses and hotels pieces of furniture were richly carved and decored.

France-000333 - Abundance Salon
Louis XIV Furniture Style.- Abundance Salon

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

Nouvelle salle du département des objets d'art (Musée du Louvre)
Louis XIV Furniture Style.

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

Design for a Bed in the Roman Style
Louis XIV Furniture Style. Design for a Bed in the Roman Style

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/22a75696-1dbd-412b-b21f-4e6bf31266d2 by Richard de Lalonde, French, active 1780–96

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 will give a luxury brilliancy unknown until the days of Louis XIV.

France-000405 - Queen's Nobles Room
Queen’s Nobles Room

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

Louis XIV's Bedroom
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. Sun was famous as the royal emblem and was used along with the fleur-de-lis was. Moldings were still thick. Motifs of human faces, gods, and allegories, arabesques. The gilded bronze decoration was also popular in that period.

France-001545 - Louis XIV's Drawing 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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