1730 – 1760
LOUIS XV STYLE
The Louis XV style or Pompadour style is of purely French inspiration during the reign of King Louis XV (1710-1774).
It is the most original style in the history of French art by its spirit and its craftsmanship, it was initiated by the Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764), favorite of King Louis XV, with the ornamental decorators inspired by stylistic novelties of Alexandre jean Oppenordt (1639-1715) or the architect Germain Boffrand (1667-1754).
We also speak of a so-called « rocaille » or « rococo » style characterized by its fancy and dissymmetry. It spread throughout Europe thanks to its legacy. The prestige from the French court and Palace of Versailles under Louis XIV.
Ornaments and attributes of the Louis XV style mainly represent love and pastoral themes, nature, fishing, hunting: asymmetrical acanthus leaves, curved foliage, bouquets, cartridges, plants and shells…
It was at this time that the trumeau mirrors (with paintings), framed in carved wood with scrolls and garlands of flowers were fashionable, presenting genre scenes in their upper part, landscapes in the style of artists of the time such as Antoine Watteau (1684 -1721 ) and François Boucher (1703-1770).
Gilded carved wood of the framed mirrors is sometimes replaced by painted wood.
Exotic woods that the « East India Company » imports are also used in veneer and marquetry for the manufacture of framing moldings (rosewood, violet, sandalwood, lemon tree, calambour, mahogany, etc.).
Likewise, lacquers appear, black, red, or on a light background with the craze for the Asians and Orientals styles.
In the last years of the reign of Louis XV, you will find mirrors with ornaments sculpted on the pediments: group of instruments, wicker baskets, sickles, trophies on hunting and fishing, love with (birds pecking), arrows…
These latest sculpted compositions herald the next style Louis XVI in wedding mirrors and trumeau mirrors.