Louis 14th Furniture
Louis 14th Furinture
Classic French Period Furniture
The craftsmen of France were far more advanced than the English, therefore the English craftsmen took their furniture design inspiration from them.
French Period furniture follows the French Style periods.
14th – 15th Centuries Early French
16th Century French Renaissance
1610 – 1643 Louis 13th
1643 – 1715 Louis 14th
1715 – 1774 Louis 15th
1774 – 1793 Louis 16th
1795 – 1804 Directoire and Consulate
1804 – 1815 Empire
The major influences of French Furniture came within 1643 to 1793, the reigns of Louis 14th, 15th and 16th
Louis 14th Furniture (1642 – 1715)
The French Renaissance had lost most of it’s Italian origin and had developed a character of it’s own. This is when Louis 14th came to reign; he was a man with extravagant tastes. France was at the time one of the wealthiest countries in Europe therefore he was able to indulge in his passion for arts and crafts. The country had fine skilled craftsmen of enormous talent in abundance and nothing was too good or too expensive to be made. The most outstanding of these craftsmen was Andre Charles Boulle, he experimented with the Italian art form of Marquetry in brass, copper, tortiseshell and ebony. This work is now commonly called “Boulle work“.
The features of the furniture were, wood carving, which did not have decoration, only marquetry, and often elaborate brass mounts. The surfaces of cabinets were generally flat. This is a considerable feature as the next period used curved surfaces everywhere.
The main source of decoration was Boulle work. Curved and straight legs were used, with the curved dominating at the end moving to the more shapely next period.
The Palace of Versailles was commissioned by Louis 14th, it was furnished with the finest and richest work that could possibly be produced. Much was destroyed during the Revolution, but what remains today is still extravagant splendour. In major contrast, England at the time was producing simple walnut furniture. On Charles II return from years of exile in France, he introduced many of the French ideas and designs to England.