The Regence Style

Sophisticated and courteous, the Regence style develops for the aristocracy’s taste for playful and intimate atmospheres. King Louis XIV’s passing away in 1715 also sounds the death knell of his classic and solemn style; his regent brother, Philip of Orleans, highlights the evanescent fantasies of Watteau as soon as 1717.

Unlike the Louis XV style, the Regence style preserves straight lines and geometrical forms from Louis XIV vocabulary, like the straight-back “à la reine” armchair ; which is why it is customary seen as a transitory style. Chairs, armchairs, fireplaces and draws are all bent and decorated with thin shell motifs, foliage and other ornaments. Glorifying feminine grace, the period stuffs and transform furniture always in order to provide more comfort.

Emblematic of the style, the wood and bronze worker Charles Cressent distinguishes himself with subtle marquetry and the creation of the “espagnolette” motif, a little bronze female torso for furniture decoration. Ornament gives up straight lines for good under Louis XV’s reign, handing over to the knotty and baroque style named after him.

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