empire

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18th CENTURY FRANCE:

18th CENTURY FRANCE EMPIRE STYLE 1804-1820

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THE EMPIRE STYLE:- The empire style was so designated because of its association with napoleon, who was proclaimed Emperor of the French in 1804. The empire period was first in art history in which an attempt was made to impose a decorative style upon a people by artificial methods rather than to permit it to develop by natural evolution. The empire style was the last of the French style to produce what is today known as the real “ANTIQUE”.

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BED ROOM

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HSTORY OF FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE:- J acques Louis David, who had been one of the signers of the death warrant of Louis xvi,, was appointed court painter and art director of France .David become the man of the hour in the art, politics, and society. He had founded the classical school of history. Styles were pattern after Greek and Roman design. The empire style spread to Austria as a result of Napoleon’s marriage to princess MARIE LOUIS, and it later was popularized in both Germany and Austria as the Biedermeier style.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF FRENCH EMPIRE:- The color tones are low. Walls and ceilings have backgrounds of buffs and grays, with arabesques. There are many different styles of French furniture, each belonging to a different period in the history and heritage of France and consequently having their own peculiar influences and appearances. Rooms were often square in plan, though many of them had semicircular or segmental ends imitating those in ancient Roman palaces. Columns or pilaster spaced at intervals around the room or forming part of door and window treatments, arranged with an arched form to constitute an over-mental decoration.

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Napoleon appointed PERCIER and FONTAINE as government architects. They designed every detail of the interior of their buildings including furniture, textiles, hardware, ornament, wallpaper and utilitarian objects. Door and windows arches were either semicircular or segmental. The walls of Empire rooms were often in plain painted plaster, decorated with painted classical motifs and finished in a semi-gloss polish. Marbleized effect was also common. Wood paneling and wallpapers were also used . Floors were built with black and white marble squares, or wooden parquet pattern

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The designers therefore ,turned their backs on all the intimacy and gracefulness of the 18 th century, and began to work on a grand, severe, and masculine scale. The basic form of furniture were simple, with definite and severe outlines, rather heavy in proportion with sharp corners. Monolithic in appearance. Doors, sides and lids of case of furniture were one solid piece of veneer in which the graining and polish were the sole element of beauty. The heavy TUSCAN and DORIC orders were used in a simplified form for both structural and ornamental detail. Both square –sectioned and straight turned legs were used. less carving and marquetry patterns were used. Few new types of furniture were used, all table tops were round or octagonal with marble top. FURNITURE OF FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE:-

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Tripod table with metal and wooden supports were made in imitation of those found in Pompeii. Empire beds were usually designed to be placed sideways against the wall, and were higher than the front ones and were crowned with a vase form, the board connecting the head and the foot piece were sometimes shaped in a segmental curve. Klismos , and round about rolled, and Greek –curve chairs backs and sofa arms were common. the front legs of chairs were usually straight ,the rear legs slightly curve. spring seats were used for upholstery. Consoles were made with either rectangular or half moon tops and the lower portion was often backed by a mirror.[the standing floor mirror or pier glass that pivoted horizontally , known as a PSYCHE.

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FEATURES OF FRENCH EMPIRE PERIOD:- swan motif Classical figure used in metal work and painting Ormolu ornament cornucopia Band ornament

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FURNITURE OF FRENCH EMPIRE:- Arm chairs sofa Console table Tripod table Directoire chair

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WOOD USED IN FRENCH EMPIRE STYLE:- The most popular wood for furniture was mahogany, but elm, yew,maple and lemon were also used . maple lemon yew elm

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Ornamentation was mainly of bronze and ormolu, motifs included military symbols, ancient Egyptian ,Roman, Greek symbols. EMPIRE ORNAMENT Sphinx, lion’s head ornaments were used in tables and chairs The griffin were used for both ornaments and structural supports of tables and console as well as for symbolical origin. ~*THANK YOU*~