Baroque Part II
Baroque in France-the style of the French kings and the French nobility, with its interiors and furniture, tells us a glorious fairy-tale story of this period known for extravagance and comfort, luxury and exaggeration. Reflecting the spirit of the age, baroque furniture with its imaginative, free, playful and twisted forms and countless shapes and purposes, was an essential part of not only design, but also the lifestyle of the French aristocracy. The need for fine, high quality pieces of furniture, chairs, sofas, tables, beds has resulted in the emergence of the Royal Factory for the Furnishings of the Crown- The Manufacture Royale des Meubles de la Couronne. While creating furniture for the royal residences, by engaging the best craftsmen of the time and using diverse and precious materials, the French national style was created.
Armchair, style of Louis XV, France
Armchair, nowadays just a common piece of furniture, occurred precisely at the time of the Baroque, during the reign of Louis XIII, and later became an indispensable part of every interior.
Searching for the perfect combination of beauty and comfort, which at that time was a very sought after characteristic, armchair, too, has experienced many changes and transformations, through the baroque stages that we call styles of the Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV. Slowly losing its original harshness and rigor typical of the Louis XIII period, the chair in the style of Louis XV, took a light and stylish look. Mild, curved forms are visible on its free supports in the shape of the letter S, armrests and back. All these parts, made of wood, coated in white lacquer in combination with gold or the natural colour of wood, were decorated with ornaments and motifs typical of this style: flower lilies, bay leaf and acanthus, faun’s head, shells, horn of plenty.
Special attention was paid to the seat and backrest, which are lined with brocade, velour, leather, tapestries, and even pieces of silk. On some chairs, even part of the armrest was padded in accordance with the overall appearance of the chair.
Bergere lounge chair, the style of Louis XV, France
A special type of chair, which lower armrests modulate to finely curved, elegant backrest, making a single unit, called Bergere. Popular and favourite at the time, partly because of its beauty and partly because of the ergonomic features, Bergere also existed in a variant intended for two people to seat and then it was called the Marquis.
Precisely in this way, by developing different types of seats, playing with forms and furniture decorations, French artists created many, unusual and interesting pieces of furniture, which on the order of the Louis XV, would leave the Royal Factory for the Furnishings of the Crown, only after they had been marked by a signature of the carpenter who had made them.
Modern chair inspired by the style of Louis XV
Beauty and popularity of the Baroque furniture, survived in the following centuries, too. The quality of the build and value of the furniture, have enabled many pieces to remain preserved in museum settings, as well as in private collections. These are precious jewels of the applied art, which, even nowadays, can reach high prices at the auction sales.
In the commercial production of furniture, at affordable prices, there are many pieces of furniture inspired by the Baroque style. Because of its strangeness and decorativeness, such pieces are common part of modern interiors, expressing boldness, originality and extravagant spirit of their respective owners.
Balloon Chair, modern armchairs inspired by Bergere, style of Louis XV
Our opinion is that the most successful and effective examples are those who have been created by emulating the existing baroque armchairs. By its shape and proportions these are similar to the original chairs or present the interpretation or upgrading of some of the existing ones. The novelty is the use of materials and finishes which are in line with modern trends, motifs, materials. In this way we have obtained armchairs of unusual colour, covered in colourful textiles, faux fur, and motifs of modern pop culture. Still, they have kept a true Baroque spirit. Bold and distinctive, eye-catching and appealing, chairs like these highlight the specific character of the space in which they are placed, but also the character of the owners who has chosen them.
Modern armchair inspired by the style of Louis XV