sort of informal reception-room, and much care and skill were exercised in the development of its decoration and furnishing.
There were screens with carved and gilded frames, surrounding specially woven floral and pictorial tapestries; also screens painted by Watteau and Boucher. Clocks, candelabra, mirrors, etc., were all designed in the extravagant style of the times. Mirrors were introduced over mantels, in place of the heavy carvings of the previous reign.
Panels were much in evidence on walls and ceilings, sometimes painted, sometimes framed tapestries from the Gobelin or Beauvais factories, lovely in design and coloring, depicting pastoral scenes and love-making, contemporary life and Arcadian affectations. Over-elaborate draperies were a feature of the interiors.
The Louis XV chair suggests comfort, ease, and luxury. Curved shapes were in vogue, hardly an angle appearing in the chair-frames. Sometimes these shapes bordered on the fantastic, but they were always luxurious and the workmanship was excellent. The back was shaped to fit the body and was usually softly upholstered, though cane was sometimes used for seats and backs. Indeed, the woodwork of the back was merely a decorative frame for
an upholstered cushion. At the top was often a central shell or flower from which floral carving fell gracefully over the rounded corners of the back. Legs and arm supports of Louis XV chairs were gracefully curved, the legs being slender, with no underbracing, and usually decorated with carving at the knee and foot.
Upholstery was one of the prominent features of these chairs. The large patterns in fabrics that had been popular in Louis XIV's day were replaced by smaller ones. Lyons velvets and silks in floral patterns were much used. Stripes were introduced, but were used less than during the succeeding period. Beauvais tapestries, beautiful in pattern and color, were designed and woven to fit the chairs, in which they were framed by the woodwork, like pictures.
Such are the outstanding features of the furniture styles of the Louis XV period. A prolific and noteworthy period it was, but somewhat too florid, and from an artistic point of view it was surpassed by that which followed.
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