Louis XV Furniture Picked Up Where Louis XIV Left Off

Louis XV followed the long reign and the extravagant furniture designs of Louis XIV with more of both.  Louis XV furniture began with the style the XIVth had last brought into fashion, Rocco styling with a mixture of too many motifs.

Louis XV table with tasteless ornamentThe reign of Louis XV continued with the free flow of large sums of money to satisfy his desires, mostly personal luxury.  In fact, the Louis XV era was filled with excesses in every area, including the furniture design.  It was a period of ornament, trimmings and the full use of valuable materials.  Eventually the extravagance and excesses totally obscured any logical structure of furniture design.  In too many cases good taste was put aside in favor of more opulence and extravagance.

If there is but one saving grace of the Louis XV era it would have to be the Louis XV cabriole leg which in most cases is slender, subtle, and perfectly balanced with well supported curves.

It was the wanton spending of tax dollars for personal gratification and luxury that led to the French Revolution.  The heavy taxes imposed by both Louis XIV and Louis XV and the lavish spending almost exhausted all the resources of the citizens.

The Chippendale designs from England had successfully interpreted the Louis XIV and Louis XV styles without actually copying them.  Chippendale assumed the spirit of the French styles.  Hepplewhite did the same with the Louis XV furniture styles.  Both Chippendale and Hepplewhite successfully captured the feel of the Louis XV style without repeating the almost tasteless opulence.