The ancient Egyptians formed the first of the great classical civilizations. While most of Europe was still in the Stone Age, the Egyptians were building palaces, studying mathematics and writing on papyrus. They were great builders and great artists, drawing the inspiration for their art from nature. A complex social and religious structure was in place. The Egyptians kept books of accounts and recorded history; their children played with carved wooden toys with moving parts. The presence of stools, chests, footrests, small cabinets, small tables, and even vase stands, points to a fairly high level of organisation in living arrangements,
There was a huge difference in living standards between the rich and the poor. Ancient Egyptian homes of the poor consisted of a living room, a sleeping room and a kitchen, with perhaps one or two cellars for storage. These were built with sun-dried bricks, or reed matting smeared with clay . The average house consisted of four rooms: A front room leading from the street, which may have been used as a meeting place for guests. A living room where the household shrine was situated. The family would worship their personal gods or ancestors here. A living space, probably used as a sleeping area, with a staircase to a flat roof or upper floor. A kitchen at the rear of the house, which was open to the sky to prevent the room from filling with smoke. Cellars underneath the rear rooms were used as storage for foodstuffs. Houses were small so each room was multi-purpose.
The houses of the elite, described as mansions, followed a similar layout to the small houses, although they consisted of a number of small suites of rooms joined by interlinking corridors. These gave the elite owners the privilege of separating the public from the private family quarters. Many mansions also contained An audience chamber in which to greet visitors. An office in which to conduct business. A bathroom with built-in shower area (essentially a stone slab and a servant with a jug of water) and toilet (a horseshoe-shaped wooden seat over a bowl of sand). Some homes had sunken baths open to the sky – to catch some rays while bathing. These quarters provided living, dressing, and sleeping areas from the rest of the household. The mansions were run like estates. In addition to the owner and his family, a plethora of employees, administrators, and servants lived in these larger homes.
Gardens The Egyptians loved their gardens, which were mostly formal and stylised, and well tended. Pools for bathing were popular, and the garden would be planted with shady trees and flowers.
PATRICIAN: Only the royal and wealthy people used furniture. RANGE: stools, chairs ,tables , beds and chests VISUAL IMPACT: Highly decorative with graphic elements SYMBOLIC PRESENTATION: Used symbols especially ceremonial as inlays or painting on the furniture MATERIAL: Ebony wood was mostly used , it was imported at great expense. TECHNICAL: Excellent craftsmanship and used plain butt joint
Old Kingdom furniture : furniture from this period was divided into two groups: platform pieces such as benches, chairs, tables, beds, couches, and stools;, and boxes such as chests and cupboards. there was some surface ornamentation in the form of gilding and carving Old Kingdom furniture relied on shape, line, proportion, and texture for its decorative effect. Thrones and chairs featured carved lion-paw feet, beds were decorated with animal skins and colorful mats,. There were stools, chests, footrests, small cabinets, small tables, and even vase stands. Four legged stools with animal shaped legs and sturdy square seats made from concave wood or woven or braided rushes were important items of the time. In the second half of the Old Kingdom, chairs with arms and backs began appearing.. Egyptian furniture designs of this age incorporated metal work and inlay, as well as relief carving, and gilding.
The Middle Kingdom was further development of earlier trends, with a marked sophistication evident. Decorative effects such as inlay, paint, gilt, and veneer became prominent. Popular design motifs included figures of sacred animals such as cow heads, lion heads, and hippopotamuses.
New Kingdom The furniture produced during this period is on a luxurious scale, and is also evidence of greater woodworking skill. The New Kingdom saw the Egyptians extend their empire to new lands from Nubia to the Euphrates River and this contact with foreign cultures seems to have had its effect on furnishings. In wealthy Egyptian homes chairs appear in greater abundance. Folding stools were richly painted in bright colors. Small, low tables were often woven from rush.
Egyptian Chairs Gold sheathing, ivory inlays, intricate marquetry, inset jewels and fine stones were used to decorate ancient furniture that was often carved to represent animal forms. Chairs sometimes had feet in the shape of lion's paws or crocodile feet; legs and feet were sometimes carved to simulate the legs of a gazelle. High backed chairs are seen in many paintings. These were supplemented with cushions for comfort. commonly incorporated carvings of flowers, animals or birds.
Stools Stools were the most common items of furniture in Egyptian homes it was the Egyptians who invented the folding stool. Since these were much used by army commanders in the field, they became a status symbol, and were often heavily carved and decorated. stools commonly had woven rush seats
Beds, Headrests They are among the most intriguing of furniture items because of their structure. They were gently inclined so that the sleeper's head was elevated, and had a footrest. A footboard ensured that the sleeper would not slip off in the middle of the night. almost all beds featured legs in the form of animal legs, ranging from heavy bull’s legs to gazelle-like forms with hooves, and the feline type with paw and claw, frequently identified as lion’s legs.“ The mattress was usually made of wooden slats, plaited string, or reeds, which then held woolen cushions or some other soft material. Sheets were made of linen.
Chests, boxes and cabinets formed an important part of Egyptian bedroom furnishings. These were highly decorated and were designed for many different purposes: large chests for storing household items and linen, small compartmentalized ones for storing cosmetics, and miniature chests with sliding lids and drawers made to hold jewelry. Alabaster box chest
Tables Tables were also an important item of Egyptian furniture. They were used for eating, writing and playing games. They were usually low and easily moveable. In many cases, the tops were decorated with marquetry or with inlaid ivory. Carved legs, gold sheathing and ivory inlays were used to decorate table legs.
THE MESOPOTAMIA Known as the cradel of all civilisations and had succession of three great civilisations : SUMER,BABYLON AND ASSYRIA. No furniture has survived so we have to depend on its depiction in works of art which range from tiny cylindrical seals to large scale bas reliefs.
CHARACTERISTICS Only the king and people with authority had a seat to sit others just stood around . Stools, footstools, chairs and couches were more common than other pieces like tables. High couches were used for dining and to sleep. The chairs were high needing a footstool due to height of chair The table and chairs legs combine symbolic feature with realistically carved lion paws. They had folding stools with a cushion on it .
THE GREECE The earliest Greek civilizations borrowed styles and ideas from Egypt, but by the Classical era, designs had subtly changed to a style that was uniquely Greek. Lines became softer, much use was made of subtle and elegant curves, and more attention was given to comfort. It comprised of stools, chairs , couches ,small tables ,chests . Furniture was simple elegant without any excess in form ,material , ornament or treatment. Being light in weight most of the non ceremonial Greek furniture was supposed to be carried outdoors and used there. Greek furniture styles were simple, elegant and tasteful. Although carving and inlays were used, furniture was not over-decorated. Houses were not cluttered with much furniture, and household items were made for use and comfort rather than decoration.
CHARACTERISTICS The five main types of furniture in ancient Greece the stools, couches, tables, chests, and chairs were made for practicality to serve their purpose Thrones were derived from egyptian and mesopotamianmodels.They were impressive and elaborate as considered to be seats of gods. They were placed in theaters for magistrates and VIPs .Being outdoor pieces,these were made of marble,with a round back and solid sides The early Greek couch was frequently treated as an interior fixture, essentially a "built-in" of stone which has been integrated into the decoration of the room. It held an important place in the house, being used by day for eating, and by night for sleeping. The low, three-legged table positioned below the couch here was used to hold food.
The Klismos, used principally by women, was made with delicately curved back and legs. These features allowed the sitter to be in a freer and more natural position.
THE ROME Roman cities were planned with straight roads ,running water and sewers. The rich lived in fine villas and the poor lived in apartment style buildings. Romans adopted all greek furniture forms and added grandeur ,ostentation and luxury to them. Romans used luxurious materials like gold ,silver ,copper , bronze , ivory and tortoise shell as inlay in various materials. Furniture in Roman housestended to be sparse, since the occupants liked space and simplicity in their decor. Beauty was created by mosaics, frescos and water features.
CHARECTARISTICS The interior was decorated to suit the tastes and means of the owner , even the poorer houses had charming effects. Due to stratification of authority type of furniture was specified to denote ranks. The throne in theaters was meant for magistrates and VIPs. The X stool -sellacurulis denoted the seat for magistrate. Couches were the seats to sit , relax and sleep . They were provided with a back like the modern period.
Buffets , boxes , and semicircular consoles were common. Romans did not have upholstered furniture,but luxurious pillows and cushions were used. Curtains and valances rich in fabric and color were employed. The walls of buildings were beautifully painted. The floors were covered with marble tiles arranged in geometrical figures with contrasting colors. Tables were done with intricate carving and fine ornamentation with mythical figures.
Chinese ancient furniture features profound cultural facts and superb craftsmanship. The furniture was mostly made from precious wood, in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) dynasties. It is widely recognized as the best, because furniture before the Ming Dynasty did not survive wars and time, traditional Chinese furniture craftsmanship did not reach its zenith until the Ming Dynasty. Chinese furniture was usually lacquered red or black and then painted, and often carved and sometimes inlaid with other materials such as precious stones, etc. Ming Dynasty furniture is known for its simplicity with sparse lines and little decoration Qing furniture emphasizes detail and extravagance. Furniture from southern China tends to be very elaborate northern furniture is big, heavy and grand.
Furniture used at the time fell into four categories – those on which people slept or sat including mats, beds and couches, tables long short on which things were placed, screens and mosquito nets, trunks, toilet cases used by women, and suitcases. All these are low, commensurate to people’s habit of being seated on the floor.
Ming Dynasty Furniture: Ming Dynasty furniture represents the typical style of Chinese furniture because of its beautiful shapes, good materials and refined skills, and it enjoys great fame in the world. Ming Dynasty furniture comes in many forms. The main ones are chairs, stools, desks, beds, cupboards and screens. Ming furniture is simple with sparse lines and little decoration. It usually features fine and durable precious woods, such as mahogany, sandalwood, rose wood etc. In the Ming Dynasty, the demand for fine furniture , ample supply of wood and the highly developed tenon-mortise technology all facilitated the success of the Ming furniture. the Ming furniture usually has simple structures, unique shapes and minimal decorations which would reserve the natural beauty of the wood.
Lines were ingeniously applied to emphasize details such as the back of an armchair and the legs and resting bars of chairs and tables. Emphasis was placed on the application of the natural beauty of the wood texture and adopting latticework and openwork carvings. There would be simple patterns by relief engraving or openwork carving in eye-striking places such as the backs of armchairs An important feature of Ming Dynasty furniture is that the items are beautifully shaped. The furniture is light and simple and conveys a sense of stability. The size and proportion of the different parts adhere to aesthetic principles but take practical use into consideration.
The decorations are mainly engraved lines and small areas of circular carving and through carving. There may, however, also be wood, ivory and diamond inlays in the design of landscapes, flowers and birds or small bronze and silver ornamentation. The refined ornamentation in small areas form a strong contrast with the furniture's overall clean and simple appearance. T he line of the edges of the piece is shaped in different lengths and widths depending on the grain of the timber to create a true and harmonious effect, so that the piece looks natural and balanced. It combined round and square, wide and narrow, thick and thin patterns and lines for contrast and thus formed the unique structure of Ming Dynasty furniture. All parts of the furniture were pieced together with no visible joins. The outline is natural and fluid. The surface was polished with wax to make it look bright, smooth and clean and to reveal its natural beauty.
Qing Dynasty Furniture: In the early Qing Dynasty, furniture inherited characteristics of the Ming Dynasty. After political power was stabilized and the economy improved, people began to pay more attention to more material things in there lives, and demanded decorative and luxurious furnishings. Gaudiness and sumptuousness were a basic features of Qing furniture which was usually heavy and sizable, featuring exquisitely carved patterns. Some pieces were carved from head to foot and had inlays of stone, mother-of-pearl, porcelain, metal, and enamel. Qing furniture had curved decorations and exaggerated shapes that demanded attention. Chinese traditional furniture has a strong aesthetic appeal due to its apparently simple lines and the fact that it makes use of "natural materials" such as the finest hardwoods.
wood is polished, stained or lacquered to evoke its natural earthiness and grainy patterns. Qing and Ming furniture is characterized by restrained and elegant designs and complex joinery that holds the furniture together without glue or nails. Chinese furniture uses several different types of wood that are only known by their characteristics. Huali is a tropical hardwood that used to grow in China, and comes in a wide range of colors. Zitan, with its purplish brown color, can be considered the most precious type of timber, and its expense and rarity are related to the fact that it was imported. More common timber types are oak, elm, maple, chestnut, poplar, birch, Hong Mu and Nan Mu.
TYPES OF CABINETSThere are two main styles of large Chinese cabinets, their names derived from their contours: the square-corner cabinet and the round-corner cabinet (also known as the tapered or sloping-style, wood-hinged cabinet). These types of Chinese cabinets were normally made in matching pairs, placed either side by side or symmetrically to balance the interior layout of the room or separated by a table.
BYZANTIUM Byzantine architecture was a mixture of Eastern and Western influences, with elements of Greek and Roman styles intermingled with the spires and domes of the East. Byzantine religion was a strong factor in this culture, with the first imposing church structures being built during this era. Byzantine furniture, architecture and art all flourished during this time with artists and craftsmen building on the skills and techniques of earlier civilizations. Glass making techniques were refined to a fine art, and with the addition of gold to the mix, richly luminous stained glass was used to produce the famous Byzantine mosaics - works of outstanding beauty.
Chairs , thrones and x-stools in metal and wood are commonly seen. Thrones are architectural in form and indicate massive construction of heavy timber,covered with ornamental paintings and cushioned seats. Tables with four legs and x-shaped strechers were common. Byzantine palace furniture is skillfully turned and richly carved inlaid with silver embossed in an intricate design. Palace furniture included heavy, carved and pillared chairs, tables with inlaid worktops, cabinets and storage chests.
Chests were also used by the common people, and were often fitted with locks and keys , were used as seats.
Folding tables were also much used as they were portable and easily moved out of the way when not in use.
Beds and couches were made in classical vein.The beds were magnificient structures surmounted by a canopy on columns and enclosed within curtains
MEDIVEAL PERIOD Medieval life was uncertain, and families were often on the move: fleeing from conflict, or traveling to lend support to the warlord of their choice. Textiles were the central focus of medieval decor. used as room dividers, wall hangings, floor or bed coverings, or protection from the cold. Colorful fabrics added brightness and life to dark rooms. Folding chairs were popular amongst the medieval aristocracy, since they could easily be transported when on the move.
Medieval furniture was primarily made of oak, since it was easy to obtain, strong and durable. A type of chest known as the hutch was common . Benches and stools were commonly used for sitting in medieval times - only the rich and important, or perhaps occasionally the privileged head of the house, ever used an actual chair. medieval art and architecture, are found in churches and cathedrals. The church had more solid, permanent style of furniture as was exempted from the nomadic lifestyle which influenced medieval furniture characteristics.
Medieval interior is all about color and warmth, use of textures and textiles, and simply made, practical furniture. Life in the middle ages was harsh, but also full of excitement, fun and romance.
ROMANESQUE The later Romanesque and Gothic styles followed the furniture making techniques preserved by the Byzantine empire, and this made possible the Renaissance with its proliferation of art, architecture and furniture styles. Romanesque churches and monasteries were the focal point of civilization, and most of the furniture and works of art of this period are ecclesiastical. Taking ancient Roman remains as their model, Romanesque artists, architects and furniture designers copied Roman styles in a rather crude fashion, although later works of Romanesque art show a brilliance of their own. Romanesque sculpture and artwork were used to lavishly decorate churches and cathedrals, giving us an insight into the fashions, lifestyles and culture of early medieval Europe.
The style of Romanesque architecture is impressive , since with little knowledge of mathematics or engineering, they were able to create massive structures. The Romanesque style was the true beginning of modern architectural and furniture design Church furniture was ornate, decorated with either carvings or paintings in an imitation of the old roman furniture styles. Arches and curves were the design theme, both in the shape of the item itself, and the carved paneling and decoration. Simple animal and plant forms were also used in carving. Many items were brightly painted to lighten up gloomy interiors. Cupboards and presses were either made as plain shelves or in the form of planks without framework or panelling.The brilliant polychrome decoration was employed to hide the crude carpentry. Beds were of two types-one with turned members elaborately framed and another was based on chest construction,with square supports at the head and foot board and for the sides. Beds employed curtains and hangings suspended from rods or a framework around the bed.
Since the common people of this era lived very simply, Romanesque furniture was predominantly designed for churches and for the aristocracy. The poorer classes would make do with a rough bed, or just a mattress of straw on the ground, perhaps a storage chest or two, and a board supported by tree trunks that served as a dining table. Chairs were symbol of status restricted to royal members.The chair members were mostly of turned wood to resemble stone columns with semi circular arches to form arcaded sides and back. Tables were movable,supported on trestles.some had semi-circular tops.
GOTHIC The Gothic styles of architecture, art and furniture date from the 12th century through to the 16th century. With the Byzantine influence introduced to Europe by the crusaders, as well as Islamic and arabesque elements, furniture and architecture became more ornate, Furniture in the Gothic period was of two types: the richly ornamented pieces that were used for show, and the simple, knock-down utilitarian items for everyday use. the pointed Gothic arch - which by the Late Gothic period was a serpentine arabesque ogee shape, the trefoil and quatrefoil - cloverleaf patterns employing either three or four lobes, crockets - leafy bumps or bosses found on Late Gothic tracery, and finials - multiple crosses or leafy fleur-de-lis motifs that capped the pointed arch.
Gothic furniture craft paved the way for the Renaissance period to follow, and many new items of furniture appeared at this time. The armoire for clothes storage, the buffet for eating utensils, and tables with drawers were first seen in this period. Gothic cabinet furniture progressed a long way from the simple storage chests and coffers of earlier times. Gargoyles and other horrific mythical creatures were popular motifs since it was believed that they would frighten away evil spirits.
Gothic bedroom furniture featured massive four poster beds, with linenfold-carved valences, and heavily carved and decorated posts and bedsteads. Bed coverings and hangings in rich colors completed the elaborate Gothic bedroom style.
RENAISSANCE Renaissance is a French word that means “rebirth.” Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history. It influenced painting, sculpture, and architecture. Paintings became more realistic and focused less often on religious topics. Renaissance houses contained large rooms and high ceilings elaborately ornamented with painted decorations and plaster mouldings, usually in a style imitating or derived from ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Both the decorations and the furniture of the rooms were intended to create an effect of richness and magnificence. Rich families became patrons and commissioned great art. Artists advanced the Renaissance style of showing nature and depicting the feelings of people.
a room was judged by the ornamentation on the ceilings and walls. Little furniture was used. Sideboards (dressoirs), chests (cassoni), and wardrobes or clothes presses (armoires) were designed to harmonize with the symmetrical architectural features of the rooms. Lavish use was made of wood panelling and of such features as mullioned windows, elaborate chimneys, fireplaces, and mantels. Rooms were simple and dignified, with few items of furniture or accessories. Ceilings and walls were decorated with plaster mouldings or hung with tapestries. Windows, doors, and the large four-poster beds of the period were draped with heavy velvets, damasks, and brocades.
The lower portion of the walls is decorated with traditional oak paneling. Above, stucco reliefs alternate with allegorical frescoes. This was a new style introduced in this period.
THE BAROQUE STYLE The era of King Louis XIV, or Louis Quatorze, marked in France the beginning of a series of distinct period furniture styles, called the Baroque. It was an age of courtly splendor and grandeur; of rich, massive furniture, well suited to the palace and salon. Furniture was arranged against the wall as if on display, and seemed to have no other purpose than as decoration. The Louis XIV style is marked by dignity, grandeur, bold effects, lavish but not excessive ornament, and faultless workmanship. In the decoration the anthemion and acanthus were prominent, and the ornamental details were symmetrical and balanced.
Tables of the Louis XIV furniture style had turned or pedestal feet, and later had curved legs. Small, round and oblong tables and consoles became common. Beds were designed chiefly with a view to supporting elaborate draperies. Carved and inlaid panels were much used on chests and wardrobes, and there were many forms of chests and cabinets in vogue. The chief woods used in cabinetmaking were oak, walnut, chestnut, and ebony, with ornamental portions frequently done in rosewood, sandalwood, tulipwood, and various exotic woods.
Gobelin tapestry and Lyons velvet were the principal upholstery materials Louis XIV chairs of the French Baroque period were large and comfortable, being usually upholstered, back and seat, with tapestry, brocade of large pattern, or with ruby velvet enriched with gold galloon. During the first half of the reign of Louis XIV the legs of chairs were straight, and turned or carved in a squarish effect, like pedestals. They were furnished with decorative underframing, and were sometimes ornamented with acanthus carving.
STYLE REGENCE Toward the end of Louis XIV's era the styles changed, developing toward that of the styles of Regence furniture. Regence furniture represents another phase of the wider and preceding Baroque furniture of Louis XIV. one of the distinguishing features of the succeeding reign is a balance of harmony, but not of detail. Baroque furniture was replaced by lighter,smaller,more delicately designed pieces. Legs and members of furniture were shaped in flowing curved lines. The furniture was highly decorated with elaborate wooden marquetry,with overlaid ormol mounts or with geometric inlays.
Its main distinguishing characteristic is seen in the work of JusteAureleMeissonnier, in whose published designs we see a very asymmetrical, organic style using natural motifs, these forms becoming popularised and used and by other furniture makers as well as metalsmiths, and other craftsmen. The best expression of Regence furniture design is seen in the work of metalworkers such as goldsmiths and bronzesmiths . Gilt mounts composed of assymetrical scrolls, shell designs, and floral motifs predominate. By asymetrical, is meant that the ornamentation on either side of a piece of furniture did not match exactly, and this rather sinous, curvy, style is the forerunner to the later Rococo of Louis XV furniture.
ROCOCO The major characteristics, of the rococo style, sometimes called Louis XV or Louis Quinze, are lightness, assymetry, elegance, and the most exquisitely minute and careful decorative accents. French rococo furniture sees great use of interlacing shell decoration, plant and flower motifs, C scrolls and S scrolls. The cabriole leg and scroll foot were refined and used a great deal. The salon, social gathering, whether in palaces or ordinary homes, developed into a common occurence. There was far more concern with convenience and comfort which saw the making of smaller armchairs, sofas, and portable tables. Very large numbers of new furniture types came into being with new emphasis on the need to match consoles, tables, chairs, sofas, lounges, footstools, stools, and mirrors with each other.
Pieces were planned as an integral part of an interior, and designed along with the paneling; these included console tables, built to stand against the wall, sieges meublant, or chairs which also stood against the wall, and beds. They were painted to harmonize with the paneling, in schemes such as blue and white, pink and white, and sea-green and white, enriched with gold. New furniture shapes proliferated as society redefined its behaviour patterns in the intimate settings of the private salon.
Furniture was smaller in scale, and made to recline on with a mass of cushions to prop oneself up to the best advantage. Cozy seats for two acquired names like the tête-a-tête, or confidante - seating two people - or the canapé a confidante, closed at both ends with a corner seat. Nostalgic fantasies of travel to distant exotic lands brought artifacts from the Near and Far East more into demand. The passion for chinoiseries was not new, but paintings by Boucher and others created a taste for the exotic. Painted Japanese panels were cut up and mounted in wardrobe doors and desk fronts.
Neoclassicism Neoclassicism is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw upon Western classical art and culture (usually that of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome). These movements were dominant during the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century. neoclassicism appears to be a natural expression of a culture at a certain moment in its career, a culture that is highly self-aware, that is also confident of its own high mainstream tradition, but at the same time feels the need to regain something that has slipped away:
Charecteristics: Furniture design became more rectangular. Tables and chairs were given straight legs rather than curved. Plain and darker woods-mahogany were used as veeners. Furniture in black and gold was lacqured. Beds ,fabrics and tapestries were made according to human dimensions. New furniture that was introduced were-encoignure,the corner commode,demi-lune,side cupboard with curved doors. The furniture makers of this period are 1. robertadams 2. georgeheppelwhite 3. thomassheraton
ROBERT ADAM Adopted classical symmetry which was a revolutionary idea in comparison to the prevailing naturalism. Squared most lines Used paint on flat surfaces and employed fine carving, marble marquetry, scagliola, metal mounts,inlay work and gilding using satin and fruitwoods for a style richly elegant and refined.
Thomas Sheraton style Sheraton style furniture was remarkable for its refined elegance, excellent proportions and balanced distribution of ornaments. It mirrored the influence of Robert Adam and the Louis XVI style. Used graceful rectangular forms and segmental curves. Used thin strips of wood and brass inlay,building up patterns of oval or circular bandings ,and later porcelain plaques on flat surfaces. Chairs were light and delicate often with striped upholstery. Also produced painted chairs with cane seats. He designed folding tables , disappearing drawers and secret compartments all ingeniously devised and workably delineated.
Sheraton Chairs Thomas Sheraton used straight tapering legs of either quadrangular or cylindrical form. The cylindrical tapered legs were often vertically fluted or reeded and sometimes spirally turned. The legs were often finished with brass toe caps and wheel casters. The quadrangular leg often terminated in a spade foot. Occasionally the legs were joined with stretchers. Sheraton's sofas were, as a rule, long, simple, and of elegant proportions, fashioned chiefly on straight lines. Most of the details of design were similar to those of his chairs.
QUEEN ANNE LEGACY moves away from the very ornate and decorative style of baroque furniture, a move towards more refined, delicate, and "humanised" furniture on a less grand scale. mirrors with frames of walnut, having shaped hoods above, and frames inlaid with marquetry, appeared it was a decorative feature in a room rather than an independent piece of furniture. Tables had developed greatly in the era and card tables had come to cater for the overfed and under-employed gamesters
gesso work also brought to furniture makers of the Queen Anne age a medium with great decorative potential. Gesso was a composition which could be applied as a coating to tables, mirror frames etc.
English "Queen Anne" dining room chairs had lowish, graceful backs, rounded top rails, and the arms set in a manner that made the whole chair design a harmony of curves, exquisitely simple but intrinsically elegant, satisfying both comfort and fashion. A single, vertical splat, again curvilinear, both in plan and elevation, held sway in the centre of the back, allowing for a good deal of comfort to the sitter. The major element of Queen Anne chairs are the "Queen Anne Legs", the cabriole leg for chairs and also for stands and other furniture. introduction of arm chairs with wings, high and low. Such wingback chairs had velvet covering or needlework and their carving was gilded or painted.
victorian Early victorian Revival of earlier periods Late victorian Art furniture movement Arts and crafts movement
Victorian style No particular style dominated the creation of Victorian furniture. Rather, the designers drew inspiration from Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, English Rococo, Neoclassical and other periods. is characterized by sinewy curved lines, C and S scrolls, and elements of nature such as leaves, vines and flowers. more imposing, rounded, with ample ornament, decoration, curving, and gloss Iron also made its appearance in the early Victorian age particularly in Victorian bedroom furniture. Paper mache was also used in Victorian age furniture. The demands of the mass market, with its concerns of economy, led to a probably inevitable decline in standards of ordinary domestic furniture with lots of showy, hastily and cheaply put on ornament and veneer attempting to conceal the lack of quality craftsmanship.
furniture produced in the late Victoria era was composed of straight lines, solid wood usually stained black or dark green, and had not as much upholstery compared to early Victorian furniture. Painted decoration was preferred to carving. The seeds of the arts and crafts movement and the art furniture fashion of late Victorian style furniture had been sown.
Art furniture Every article of manufacture should indicate by its general design the purpose to which it will be applied. Art furniture of the late Victorian era designed by Eastlake and others was solidly built, well constructed and had few decorative effects for their own sake. The wood was unvarnished and usually without veneer, and the whole appearance was one of simplicity and usefulness. It drew on a number of traditions, mainly the Gothic and medieval as well as the oriental.
Arts and crafts William Morris and John Ruskin inspired the Arts and Crafts Movement with their reaction against the machine age and its effect on ordinary working people. The term "Arts and Crafts" was coined in 1888 and the movement saw the peak of its influence from 1890 to 1910. The designers of the Arts and Crafts style wanted to show the superiority of handmade furniture and they made pieces that were affordable for most classes.
ART NOVEAU Art Nouveau is the French/Belgian name of an art movement in reaction to the academicals schools at the end of the XIXth century .It is a decorative style developed in France between 1890 and 1910. The main features of this movement are: Preceded by Arts & Crafts movement - late 1800’s. Decorative style highlighted by off balance designs. many designs based on plant forms. a response against machine-made products. Seen in art, furniture, lamps and other decorative applications.
Art Nouveau had its roots in the Arts and Crafts movement in England, which revived handicrafts and rejected mass-production techniques. Art Nouveau borrowed motifs from sources as varied as Japanese prints, Gothic architecture, and the symbolic paintings of the English poet and artist William Blake to create a highly decorative style with strong elements of fantasy. The style found expression in a range of art forms-architecture, interior design, furniture, posters, glass, pottery, textiles, and book illustration; its main characteristic is curving and undulating lines, often referred to as whiplash lines.
CUBISM Cubism is the most radical, innovative, and influential ism of twentieth-century art. It is complete denial of Classical conception of beauty. Cubism was invented around 1907 in Paris by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Cubism was the first abstract style of modern art. Among the specific elements abandoned by the cubists were the sensual appeal of paint texture and color, subject matter with emotional charge or mood, the play of light on form, movement, atmosphere, and the illusionism that proceeded from scientifically based perspective. The cubists sought to show everyday objects as the mind, not the eye, perceives them—from all sides at once.
Cubism art uses two-dimensional geometric shapes to depict three-dimensional organic forms; a style that breaks down the natural forms of the subjects into geometric shapes and creates a new kind of pictorial space. A Cubist painting ignores the traditions of perspective drawing and shows you many views of a subject at one time. The Cubists introduced collage into painting. The Cubists were influenced by art from other cultures, particularly african masks Cubism influenced many other styles of modern art including Orphism, Futurism, Vorticism, Suprematism, Constructivism and Expressionism.
Cubism room is decorated with flamboyantly geometrical shapes.The room of cubism aims to explore the unusual texture,colours,forms,andspace.the overall design creates entertaining sensation for the room itself.
surrealism Surrealism is a cultural movement and artistic style that was founded in 1924 by André Breton. Surrealism style uses visual imagery from the subconscious mind to create art without the intention of logical comprehensibility. The movement was begun primarily in Europe, centered in Paris, and attracted many of the members of the DADA community. Influenced by the psychoanalytical work of Freud and Jung, there are similarities between the Surrealist movement and the Symbolist movement of the late 19th century. The Surrealist movement eventually spread across the globe, and has influenced artistic endeavors from painting and sculpture to pop music and film directing. The greatest known Surrealist artist is the world famous Salvador Dali.` Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer.
Surrealism can be classified into 3 types: 1) Classical Surrealism takes the dream images of the unconscious, letting them flow on the canvas without interpretation or judgment, thereby permitting everything to coexist as in a dream. 2) Social Surrealism works with symbolic images representing the inner visions of the workings of man within the context of the collective unconscious. Social Surrealism uncovers the monsters created, and the suffering inflicted, by man's misinterpretation of reality. It exposes, examines and satirizes the hypocrisy of society, making it the most unsettling type of Surrealism. Because Social Surrealism looks for the true meaning of justice, it conveys the reality of how all societies fall short of their highest potential.
3) Visionary Surrealism expresses all that is positive in the human experience, and the intuitive awareness of a Supraconsciousness as the directive Mind behind subconsciousness and consciousness. Surrealism perceives the Cosmos or total order of the universe, and the divinity of mankind. It explores the true symbols in mythology, philosophy, and religion, uniting them with the symphony of the goodness of the universe. It sees the inner wisdom of man behind his ignorance and fear. Its purpose is to reach man's true SELF, through the realization of Cosmic Consciousness.
Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the Industrial Revolution. It was partly a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature, and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature. The movement stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and custom to something noble, and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage. Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval, in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.
Romanticism art is not signaled out in just one style, technique or attitude but rather characterized by being imaginative, emotional and a dream-like quality about the romantic artist’s paintings. Painters during Romanticism did not paint according to what they were requested but rather by their own feelings, looking to express their ideas and feelings on canvas. The most important characteristics of Romanticism came as opposition to Neoclassicism. Specifically, subjectivism replaced objectivism. Feelings, passion, imagination, creativity, originality and imperfection prevailed over the importance of order, rules, rationality and perfection from Neoclassicism. In Romanticism landscapes had a great importance since they evoked a spiritual state. Religious paintings recovered its importance from Baroque and Romantic painters were also very attracted by Nationalist settings. There are many great Romantic artists but the most prominent ones of the Romantic era were the French Eugene Delacroix, the English William Turner, and the Spanish Francisco Goya.