Le style Louis XV


I’m not always in the mood for the filigree excesses of the rococo era but this French collection of 200 engravings from the reign of the hated Louis XV (1710–1774) is a treat. Peter Jessen is the compiler and the publisher is Guérinet, the house responsible for Friedrich Hottenroth‘s book of costume through the ages. The rococo I prefer is often at the weirder end of the scale where animals start crawling out of the foliage, ogees sprout webs and the sweeping flourishes seem to take on a life of their own. Jessen’s selection includes a number of such examples, in addition to designs for furniture and architectural decoration. Ludwig II would have eagerly taken this as a guide book.







Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The etching and engraving archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Schloss Linderhof
Oeuvres D’Architecture by Jean Le Pautre
Saint-Aubin’s Butterfly People
Filippo Morghen’s Voyage to the Moon

4 thoughts on “Le style Louis XV”

  1. Hello,
    I am in agreement with you, my favorite interpretations of the rococo is when it morphs from graceful folly to the bizarre and disturbing. I particularly enjoy the Neptune fountain image, the warped interior image is also engaging. The images remind me a bit of Ripa’s allegories, with the increasingly complicated cartouches ensnaring its unfortunate inhabitants. I’m sure others must have noticed this as some sort of dawn of surrealism . As usual just a wonderful post, something to linger over on this Sunday morning. Thank you.

  2. I like “The Winter”, esp. the architecture in the background. The monkey in the first print is a seller of orviétan, which I had to look up and is kind of amusing. Check out the list of ingredients.

  3. Leonard: Yes, there’s definite precursors of Surrealism in this era, not least in the tradition of the capriccio print which was an excuse for an artist to let the imagination loose.

    michelangelo: That’s rather an eye-popping mix!

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