A Pair of Small Italian Louis Xvi Green and White Painted Fauteuils

Circa 1780
Reference #: EF1290

Height: 33 inches
Width: 22 ½ inches
Depth: 15 inches

Of rectilinear design, each chair back flares, narrowing toward the base, the seats of a widening “d” form flanked by scrolled arms. The molded seat rails with a continuous scrolling motif to the rosette carved fore-corners resting upon fluted tapering legs headed by ringed collars and terminating in peg feet.

The design is based upon neoclassical drawings by Hubert Robert which had been inspired from bronze chairs unearthed in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum. The austerity and nobility of classical antiquity corresponded to the ascetic philosophies of the day advocated by Voltaire and Winckelmann, the latter of which wrote, “there is only one way for the moderns to become perhaps unequaled: by imitating the ancients.” He drew careful distinctions between imitation and mere copying, suggesting that classicism should be studied for regenerative powers and allowing for a romantic interpretation of the neoclassical style.

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