French Style (1835 - 1880):

Works of art dispersed after the French Revolution of 1789, revived the taste for the French style, representing luxury and glamour.  Very ornate, elaborate upholstery and gilding were used to exemplify the wealth and luxury associated with this style. Predominant use of curving C- and S- scrolls. By the 1870's its association with the "nouveaux riches' led to the style being dismissed as vulgar and overly decorated.


Classical & Renaissance Revival (1850 - 1900):

A revival of interest in classical art as a result of new archaeological discoveries in Greece and Italy, fuelled this style. Architectural elements, such as columns, capitals and pediments were employed. The distinctive shapes of various classical objects were also used. Scrolling decorative forms, such as garlands and foliage were revived. Egyptian motifs and forms were used.

English Renaissance Revival Bed

Source: The V&A Guide to Period Styles by Anna Jackson

Back to Knowledge Center