Victorian Style (1837-1901)

The Victorian Period in furniture can be dated from 1830 to 1890. It spread under Queen Victoria, her passion for ornate design styles affected this period.

Buckingham Palace & Queen Victoria Memorial
Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial statue (left), London.

Image source: by shining.darkness

Who Was Victoria?

Queen Victoria inherited the throne when she was 18, after her father’s brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children, she became the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Her reign lasted 63 years and seven months is called the “Victorian Age”. It was a period of extraordinary growth in the United Kingdom.

Queen Victoria by Mayall, 1 March 1861
Queen Victoria by Mayall, 1 March 1861

Image source: by whatsthatpicture

The Biggest achievements of the Victorian Age

Science and technology in the Victorian Age were very important. Inventions made during this period influenced history to come. London was chosen to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, organized by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, and several members of the Royal Society. It was a celebration of modern industrial technology and design. For the occasion, The Crystal Palace was built, made of glass and iron.

Queen Victoria presiding at the state opening of the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham Hill, London, May 1, 1851.

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About The Style

Talking about Victorian art, the first thing that came to mind was architecture, having its distinct characteristics. Architects took  ideas from Gothic architecture and other movement’s details, drawn from history, nature, or geometry. Here are the names of important architects:

  • Richard Norman Shaw was a British urban designer. He projected many influential country houses in the “Queen Anne” style for town and country;
Royal Geographical Society
Lowther Lodge, headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society, designed by Richard Norman Show in 1873-1875.

Image source: by David Hawgood

  • George W. Bourne designed the Wedding cake House in 1825, in Kennebunk, Maine. Like several mansions in the Victorian era, it was adorned with wooden Gothic decorations in 1850 to keep up with architecture trends.
The Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk Landing, Maine
Wedding cake House, G.Bourne, 1825.

Image source: by Boston Public Library

This style has distinctive features:

  • Two to three floors;
  • Asymmetrical shapes;
  • Mansard roof;
  • Porch;
  • Towers;
  • Vibrant colors;

The Victorian Style Today

Today we can find many buildings made in the Victorian Style, for example, in the famous “Painted Ladies of San Francisco”. A row of colorful Victorian houses is located in the town of Haight Ashbury. The term “painted ladies” comes from the fact that houses are painted in three or more colors to show their architectural detailing.

Full House (Painted Ladies)
“The Painted Ladies” ,San Francisco, California, in Victorian Style.

Image source: by mescon

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