Created circa 1725, the eighteenth-century bergère reflected a new art de vivre associated with comfort and luxury. Designed to furnish the drawing rooms of large mansions, the bergère was perfectly suited to the demands of a mainly female clientele. A lower and wider fauteuil, the bergère enabled ladies to sit down comfortably with their voluminous dresses. As the styles evolved, the eighteenth-century bergère was produced in a variety of models: the bergère à la Reine (with a flat back), en cabriolet (with a concave back), à oreille (with ‘ears’, projections from the top of the back), à joue (with ‘cheeks’), and the confessional fauteuil.
With its seat and arm supports stuffed with feathers, the bergère soon became the most comfortable of eighteenth-century chairs. Lower and wider, it was called a marquise. A bergère was called a duchesse when it became a chaise longue. The duchesse brisée was a bergère associated with a stool called a ‘bout de pied’.