Friday, February 21, 2014

Régence vs Louis XV chairs

People know there is Louis XIV style and Louis XV style but did you know that between those two styles, there is also a period called Régence style?  Between 1715 and 1723, France was actually governed by a Regent named Phillpe d'Orleans due to Louis XV's young age. 

Many people are confused with Louis XV style (right green chair) and Régence style (left brown chair) because they look somewhat similar.  In fact, I see a lot of people mistakenly called Régence style furniture Louis XV.  But then again, the mistake is understandable given that most people are not aware that Régence style exist.

The easiest way to differentiate a Louis XV chair versus a Régence chair is look at the feet.  If there is an x-stretcher connecting all four legs but have undulating legs like most Louis XV style chairs, it's most likely a Régence chair.  If there is none, then it's a Louis XV chair.  It's as simple as that.  Of course there is other differences such as shape of the back (in the example above the shape of the back is different but often Régence chair back is shape very similar to the green chair example above), how undulated the legs are, the overall look of the chair.  Louis XV chairs should look more delicate and free form.   Régence chair will often look heavier because it's transitioning from a formal Louis XIV style into a less formal XV style.

Now that you know the difference between a Régence and Louis XV chairs, go to your local museum and test yourself! 

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