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Consulate style  

Term used to describe the continuation in the decorative arts of the Neo-classical style (see Neo-classicism) in France between 1800 and 1805 under Napoleon Bonaparte (First Consul; 1799–1804). His Consulate was an era of renewal in the furniture, porcelain and metalwork industries in France (see France, Republic of, §VI, 4), greatly encouraged by the patronage of Napoleon, who sought a model for his position in the magnificence of ancient Rome. While little actual building took place, the period was important for such changes in interior decoration as the lavish use of draperies—begun during the 1790s—that established the Consulate and the Empire styles (for illustration see Empire style); although these terms were invented by later art historians to denote the change in political systems, in fact the styles to which they refer are virtually indistinguishable. Furniture was similar to that of the preceding Directoire style...

Article

Etruscan style  

John Wilton-Ely

Type of delicate, painted Neo-classical decoration, derived mainly from the shapes, motifs and colours of antique vases. It was part of the quest in Europe in the last quarter of the 18th century for a contemporary expression in interior design and the applied arts. The term is applied loosely to various schemes of decoration inspired by Classical sources, involving Renaissance Grotesque ornament, as well as themes inspired by discoveries made at Herculaneum and Pompeii (see Pompeii, §VI) in the 18th century, or frequently a mixture of these sources. This fact serves to underline the complex antecedents of this style, which was originally based on the misidentification of imported Greek vases dug up in southern Italy and thought to have been made by ancient Etruscans (see Etruscan §VIII), a culture promoted in some quarters as having been the original fount for the whole of Classical antiquity. Indeed, the Etruscan style derived little direct artistic influence from that culture as such, except for certain potent historical associations promoted by the controversies concerning cultural debts. Initially represented by ...

Article

Néo-Grec  

Term used for a manifestation of the Neo-classical style initiated in the decorative arts of France during the Second Empire (1852–71) of Napoleon III and his wife, the Empress Eugénie. Based on the standard repertory of Greco-Roman ornament, it combined elements from the Adam, Louis XVI and Egyptian styles with a range of motifs inspired by discoveries at Pompeii, where excavations had begun in 1848; it can be identified by the frequent use of Classical heads and figures, masks, winged griffins, sea-serpents, urns, medallions, arabesques, lotus buds and borders of anthemion, guilloche and Greek fret pattern. Néo-Grec was eclectic, abstracted, polychromatic and sometimes bizarre; it enjoyed popularity as one of the many revival styles of the second half of the 19th century.

In Paris, the Néo-Grec style was best exemplified in the famous ‘Maison Pompéienne’ (1856–8; destr. 1891) designed for Prince Napoléon Bonaparte (see...