Master Class: The Furniture Style of Louis XV

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As we continue our trip back through history to examine the famous French monarchs and their impact on furniture (and in particular, armchair) styles, we arrive at the era of Louis XV. His reign spanned from 1715 until his death in 1774. 

Known as the Rococo period, the 17th century gave rise to an ornate decorative style that definitely left its mark on furniture. The look was known for its sumptuous details. The style emphasized the ensemble approach to design that brought the work of painters and sculptors into the decorative arts. This increase in mechanical skill also lead to the rise of other crafts such as marquetry, which reached an all time high with it’s beautiful floral inlay designs.

Also during this time, as the world started to look outward, foreign influences became more important. The Louis XV period style was the first to embrace Orientalism in a profound way. This new exotic style brought with it new materials such as tulip, lemon, violet and king wood. The new grain patterns were treated with great excitement in the court.

Proportions continued to increase, with plush upholstery and gracious curves made of carved wood, giving the style a rich look coupled with an ease of use not seen before.

So far, which Louis style is your favorite? Louis XIIILouis XIV or Louis XV?

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