So often people come in and ask if we have a Louis chair or a Louis table. Louis XV or Louis XVI I ask? Oh just Louis they say. So for those that aren't sure of the difference, a few pointers in Louis XVI...
First of all, curves were not used excessively in the legs as with Louis XV, in fact quite the opposite. For those that love the beautiful French painted furniture around the place, Louis XVI should be your first stop! Marie Antoinette greatly influenced art during this period, and this influence was also felt in the furniture of the period. A slightly more severe style came into vogue. It was the first time in history that chairs were used for purely ornamental reasons.
Look out for...
- Straight, tapering 'fluted' legs is classic for this period rather than the curved cabriole leg of Louis XV;
- Gilt was replaced in many instances with 'paint', (coloured french polish) and gilt was used as relief rather than across entire pieces of furniture;
- Louis XVI was still a period of opulence, and marquetry designs were used banded in geometric shapes;
- Chair seats were generally trapezoidal and the backs were carved with lyre, vases and flowers.
Take a look at the typically French Louis XVI Chairs above!