A Restoration style?

A Restoration style?

  • Blue silk velvet panel

    ANONYMOUS

  • Bed in Charles X's bedroom at the Tuileries.

    BRION Pierre-Gaston (1767)

To close

Title: Blue silk velvet panel

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1817

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Gros de Tours background, with gilt frame, from Louis XVIII's bedroom at the Tuileries Production site: Maison Grand-Frères

Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet web site

Picture reference: 91-003478 / OA 10279

Blue silk velvet panel

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet

To close

Title: Bed in Charles X's bedroom at the Tuileries.

Author : BRION Pierre-Gaston (1767 -)

Creation date : 1824

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 220 - Width 240

Technique and other indications: cabinet, carved and gilded walnut, blue silk velvet

Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet web site

Picture reference: 94CE51189 / OA 10278

Bed in Charles X's bedroom at the Tuileries.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

The return of the Bourbons to the Tuileries

The return of the Bourbons to the throne of France came in the aftermath of the Waterloo disaster, when Europe was enraged by the Emperor's claims and the French eager for calm and peace. Louis XVIII seizes the opportunity to reconnect with the course of the glorious history of his family, deploring an "absence" that he could not however completely hide. Thus the Charter he granted in 1814 laid the foundations for a modern French monarchy, which recognized recent developments in society while affirming respect for tradition.

While his brother proposed a relatively consensual system of government, Charles X, crowned in 1824, wanted to reconnect without transition with the system of the Ancien Régime, thus despising the still important liveliness of the ideals of 1789 and the glory of the Empire. in opinion.

Image Analysis

An exceptional commission: the king's bedroom

The First Empire left the official palaces, emptied during the Revolution, in perfect condition and completely refurnished. Just as Louis XVIII did not consider it appropriate to be crowned in Reims with great pomp, the Crown did not develop at the start of the Restoration an outrageous pomp that could have contradicted the king's temperate policy. Only the throne room and the Tuileries room were the subject of a major commission.

The hangings ordered for the king's bedroom are as much an illustration of the new official iconography as a remarkable technical achievement. Designed by Saint-Ange (who began his career as a designer of the crown furniture storage under Louis XVI), the boxes of these panels clearly feature all the traditional symbols of the French monarchy: natural and stylized fleur-de-lis, royal crowns , cornucopias and king's cipher. Wrapped laurel tori, acanthus foliage and poppy flowers ensure the unity of the composition.

The bed, made by the wood sculptor Pierre Brion for Charles X in 1824, has a monumental bedside in high relief on which the arms of France are enthroned surrounded by symbols traditionally attached to the person of the king, evoking his war value (arms) and his lavishness (garlands of flowers and cornucopias garnished).

In both cases, the use of the traditional royal decorative repertoire testifies to the desire to show the continuity between the Ancien Régime and the Restoration. However, the emphasis and exclusivity with which these designs are distributed are reminiscent of the Empire's zeal in replacing the fleur-de-lis and royal crowns.

Interpretation

Is there a Restoration style?

The king's bedroom at the Tuileries, with its hangings woven for Louis XVIII and the bed made at the request of Charles X, illustrates quite well the ambiguity of this regime between a first rather consensual period and a second, dominated by the ultraroyalists, more authoritarian. The first monarch was satisfied with a new wall decoration, the furniture being re-used from the reign of Louis XVI (the bed) as well as that of Napoleon I.er (carpet and balustrade). Furnishing such an important room in yard etiquette is not trivial; through this economic eclecticism, he salutes the continuity of styles and regimes, without condemning the Empire.

On the other hand, Charles X's bed appears as the standard-bearer of restored royalty. Its size, the gigantism of its decoration and its richness testify to the pomp that the new king intended to give to his public life, in the image of his ancestors. Like his coronation, the king’s choice left the public indifferent, though some were shocked.

While Empire style neoclassicism was still in vogue, the official style was lost. No more than the kings themselves invented a renewed monarchy for modern France, the artists of the Restoration could not create a new style. We then began to look to the past, to the heyday of the French monarchy.

  • Decorative Art
  • Bourbons
  • furniture
  • Restoration
  • Tuileries

Bibliography

COLLECTIVE, A golden age of the decorative arts, 1814-1848, exhibition catalog, Paris, RMN, 1991, p. 57-59.

To cite this article

Nicolas COURTIN, “A Restoration style? "

Glossary

  • High relief: A type of relief in which the figures stand out strongly from the background, unlike the low relief.
  • Hanging: Set of several tapestries, forming a cycle around a central theme.

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