Carving was one of the most popular methods of furniture decoration in the Gothic period. Chip carving and piercing made it possible to reproduce many of the designs (tracery and roundels for example) that were based on stonemasons' work. The carving motif most recognized is the linenfold design that was used on wall panelling and furniture towards the end of the fifteenth century.
Apart from these carving techniques, inlay or intarsia, painting and gilding were also used to decorate furniture. Painting was particularly important during the period 1200-1500 and the conjunction of polychromy and carving generally falls into two groups, those items in which painting makes the design and those in which painting is a colouring medium for ironwork or carving. In the later Gothic period there was a trend towards less decoration in England, whilst in France and the Netherlands more decoration and elaborations were demanded.
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