Louis XIV – Louis Quatorze Style (1643–1715)

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

Louis XIV of France.
Louis XIV of France.

Image source: https://www.history.com/topics/france/louis-xiv

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. The minister Colbert created the royal manufacturing company of Crown furniture bringing together painters and wood carpenters to promote exportations of French products. The Louis XIV style can be summed up as follows:


  • MAJESTY
  • BALANCE
  • ORIGINALITY
Salon de Vénus in the Grands Appartements du Roi in the Versailles Palace.
Salon de Vénus in the Grands Appartements du Roi in the Versailles Palace.

Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Salon_de_V%C3%A9nus.jpg

Furniture in this Style

The exageration 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.

Chest - Louis XIV Furniture Style.
Chest – Louis XIV Furniture Style.

Image source: http://www.european-furniture-styles.com/Louis-XIV-Style.html

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.

Louis XIV Style Armchair
Louis XIV Style Armchair

Image source: https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/louis-xiv-xv-xvi-styles/

Louis XIV ornament was featured with rigor and symmetry. Sun was famous as royal emblem and was used along with the fleur-de-lis was. Moldings were still thick. Motifs of human faces, gods and allegories. arabesques. Gilded bronze decoration was also popular in that period.

This room contains furniture of Louis fourteenth style
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: http://www.altfuels.org/mbcc2005/day13.html

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

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