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About the French Provincial Furniture (Louis XV Style)
The French Provincial furniture we call Louis XV style flourished during the period of 1730-1775. If the Louis XIV furniture style was designed with the glorification of the Sun King in mind and all in massive, masculine, square form, the Louis XV furniture style is the complete opposite. Designed for the comfort and glorification of beautiful women, it has a romantic, sensuous and feminine look. A flowing abstraction of unbroken curves is the guiding principle of the Louis XV furniture style; the legs are curved, the back is curved and the seat is curved. Even the Louis XV architecture also adheres to this principle. It abhorred straight lines. In typical Louis XV architecture everything is curved - the ceiling, the panel-designs on the walls, the panel designs in the doors and even the corners of a room are curved.
The Louis XV style is sometimes referred to as the Rococo Style. It is derived from two French words meaning rock and shell. The rock and shell were the two popular motifs for decoration of this period. The Rococo style features extensive and elaborate ornamentation and decoration. It was also during this period that France was captivated with things Chinese. This fascination with Chinese motifs was called Chinoiserie. A newly discovered Chinese method of painting called Lacquering was usually used in painting wood furniture. It is therefore not uncommon to find some Louis XV furniture style bearing this Chinese influence.
The Basic Characteristics of a Louis XV style of furniture are:
1. Curved shapes and forms. This period abhorred anything straight.
2. It bears an extensive rococo decoration. Everything is elaborately decorated with intricate carvings. Wood surfaces are decorated with inlays, ormolu mounts and hand painted. With the cockleshell design as the point of focus.
3. Louis XV furniture is symmetrical and incorporates motifs such as shells, leaves, flowers and scrolled toes. It's also known as the Rococo style, which is derived from the French word "racaille" meaning rock and shell work.
4. This period designed everything with an eye toward lightness and grace. Delicacy is its guiding spirit. Scale is delicate too as opposed to the very massive previous style of Louis XIV. It is smaller, softer and more comfortable.
5. Since it has become smaller and delicate in size, the need for stretchers to support the legs is eliminated.
In conclusion, the style of Louis XV is commonly used in today's homes. Its delicate shape and size is very practical and it has both the scale and grace that are the objective in most decoration today. It is in fact one of the favorites among designers and homeowners alike when decorating traditional homes.
French Provincial Chair
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French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
Victorian Style Funiture
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