Louis XIII

(1610 – 1643)




The end of the French Renaissance furniture is seen during the reign of King Louis XIII.


Furniture moved into a new artistic direction. Damasks, fancy velvets, gold, taffetas, silk, wool, cotton and other fiber mixtures, poplins, brocatelles, dimities, fustians, filatrices and feradines, as well as fabrics of low price were made, and Italy was soon pushed into the background. The discovery of the passage around the Cape of Good Hope (1579) allowed for new trade in silks from the eastern part of Asia.


Fabric designs were of the Renaissance types, including griffins, birds, vases, bouquets, garlands, branches of leaves and fruits, masks, serpentine meanderings, birds and hounds, oriental motifs, flowers, sprays, spots and curly-cues.


Elaborate carving disappeared and spiral and bead turning appeared, the cabinet-maker worked mainly with ebony and perfected veneering and marquetry. Oriental influences in furniture can also be seen.


Furniture was monumental and heavy in style. Tall cupboards, full dressers and tables with a varying number of legs were all extremely structured. Chairs became more comfortable towards the end of the Louis XIII Period, with higher backrests, wider seating spaces, armrests and upholstered stools.


Natural woods were used, oak and walnut in the beginning, then ebony appeared.



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