Neo Classical Furniture
The discovery of the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and the wealthier Herculaneum in the mid 1700's caused a resurgence of the popularity of the Greco-Roman style which when combined with the nature based motifs carried over from the Louis XV period resulted in the style known as neo-classicism. France was one of the first countries to embrace neo classicism and the style represented a turn away from the overly dramatic Baroque and frivolous Rococo styles and a move towards the idea of purity in the arts and design.
French neo classical furniture tended to be rectangular in shape and lacked curves employing intricate marquetry and floral designs framed by geometric trims and circumscribed by oval or round medallions. Sculptures of animals such as the eagle, the dolphin or a ram's head were also common along with the use of classically carved urns to adorn furniture. Feminine proportions were still going strong with dainty designed pieces sitting on ornately carved legs. This was also the first time when chairs were created for strictly ornamental reasons with backs decorated with lyre, vases and flowers.
With neo classical furniture there is an emphasis on straight lines and right angles, this is logical design at its finest, a sharp move away from the curves of the Rococo and Baroque. Furniture became more restrained in its form and decoration, with much use of fluted columns, carved friezes, oak and laurel leaf, wreaths, the Greek band, and other neo classical attempts to imitate the furniture and architecture of the Romans Empire.
Neo classicism, a favourite design style is still extremely popular, providing us with the ability to make a grand and yet slightly restrained interiors statement.