Return to the Project's Home Page -- 19th Century Paris
Start Page of Furniture in the 19th
Empire and Neo-Louis Style
Important Styles beside the Empire and Neo-Louis Style.
The Empire Style
The Furniture of the Napoleonic Era.
Furniture which Revived the Louis Syles.
Furniture at the End of the 19th Century.
Furniture Styles Influenced by other Cultures.
Furniture in Gothic Style
Furniture of the Lower and Middle Class.
|::|General Overview As mentioned before, the Louis styles and the Empire style were
prevalent in France throughout the 19th century. Although the Empire style
could more likely be found in the first third of of the century and the Louis
styles were revived on a broad basis during the last two thirds of the century,
the history of furniture during the 19th century is much more complicated.
Due to the fact that the common taste was more and more dictated by the ascending
middle class, several different styles coexisted at virtually any point in
the course of the 19th century and a certain style did not necessarily correspond
to a certain period of time. Moreover, it was customary to have different
furniture styles mixed in one house. What is absolutely interesting is that
a room's furniture style was not only dependent on its purpose but also on
its primary user, especially whether the user was a man or a woman. The Rococo
style, a part of the Louis styles, was considered to be feminine and was often
used to furnish the drawing room or the boudoir whereas the gothic and renaissance
style were held to be masculine and were a popular choice for the library,
the study or the dining room. Since the Neo-Louis, Neo-Gothic, revived Renaissance
style and Empire style which is widely influenced by ancient Rome and Greece
are reproductions of past times, one might ask why French people furnished
their rooms in fashions of preceding centuries. According to The History of
Furniture by Ian Grant (et al.) "...there is strong evidence that the idea
of reproducing the grandeur that surrounded the French monarchy originated
in England rather than in France". Furthermore it is known that a group of
people, among them English and French aristocrats and also King George IV
of England, collected a large number of furniture pieces of the 17th and 18th
century. As a rough answer, four evident reasons can be pointed out: the influence
of England, the splendour of the aforementioned collections, the prevalent
admiration for the old monarchy and the mass production enabled industry.
All these four facts contributed to the popularity of styles from the preceding
centuries. Concerning the Empire style, it must be seen in the context of
the 'zeitgeist' during the Napoleonic era. Finally I would like to mention
a trend at the end of the century which exaggerated and oversaturated the
Louis styles. Especially at the lower end of the furniture market there was
trend towards fussiness and spindleness which seems to have caused a new orientation