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Eighteenth-century fauteuils (armchairs)

Great virtuosity was used on eighteenth-century fauteuils in the pursuit of elegance and comfort. As the chair that is emblematic of the eighteenth century, the fauteuil became an essential piece of furniture in the drawing room and the bedroom. It was caned, with rectilinear forms, a richly carved backrest, and scrolling legs. During the reign of Louis XV, many flat-backed fauteuils (à la Reine) or en cabriolet (with a concave back) emerged: the fauteuil bergère (chair with closed arms), fauteuil marquise (lower and wider armchair), fauteuil de bureau or de cabinet (study armchair), and the fauteuil de toilette (dressing or easy armchair).

In the transitional style, the eighteenth-century fauteuil combined the curvilinear forms of the Louis XV style with the return to neoclassical taste, foreshadowing the Louis XVI style. During this period, the fauteuil was given a new medallion (oval) back or à chapeau (arched with the arch springs indented). At the end of the eighteenth century, the Directoire style emerged, in which the fauteuil adopted the ‘crook’ back (à crosses) or the ‘horned’ back (à cornes). Curule armchairs and fauteuils with in-filled arms (en hotte) appeared.