Louis XVI style

JUNE 2022

During the reign of Louis XVI (1774 – 1792) a new style takes shape. It will be considered as the French version of the first phase of the neoclassical taste.
The interest in forms and motifs of classical art born already in the period of Louis XV thanks to Herculaneum and Pompeii discoveries contributed to its formation.

In this period, in furnishing, rather than substantial transformations, there were stylistic variations of forms and patterns from the past.

The recovery of the ancient, interpreted by the eighteenth-century taste, resulted a sort of eclecticism and ambiguous coexistence especially between neoclassical forms and Rococò decorative motifs, whose manifestations went beyond the limits of the Transition period to lessen only later on.

In Louis XVI style long term, the furniture took on more architecturally precise structures, such as: the medallion and the lyre replaced the shape of the shell in the design of the back of the chairs which, like other elements of the furniture, had straight cylindrical or quadrangular legs.
The decorative repertoire drew indifferently from Greek, Egyptian, Roman art and from the classical proposals of the Italian Renaissance.
In Italy, cabinetmakers prefer proposing light essences such as Cherry, with veneers made of fruit: Boxwood, Walnut, Rosewood and Bois de Rose woods.