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The Louis XV, or Louis Quinze style, describes the decorative furnishings and arts produced in France during the reign of Louis XV, who ruled the country from 1723 to 1774.
The Louis XV style is often used as synonym for the Rococo style when discussing French antiques and decorative arts. Both styles are easily recognised by the characteristic predominance of curved lines in furniture, particularly elegant curved legs or cabriole legs in antique chairs and tables. Another characteristic of the Louis XV and the Rococo styles, apart from the rocaille and coquille motifs, is the asymmetry and fluid lines of the works. Rejecting the rigidity prevalent in previous furniture design, the pieces of the Louis XV period usually present a more organic form of decoration, with fantastical combinations of naturalistic flowers, swirling plants and ornate shells. In the Louis XV period, exuberant ornaments were used in every aspect of the interior, which began to be perceived as a work of art in itself, in which furniture, fine and decorative arts and the architectural structure all combined and complimented one another.
The sinuous lines of the style were combined with pastel colours, gilt mounts and frames, and abundant use of porcelain, silk and glass, to create charming objects suitable for the refinement and wealth of the 18th Century European aristocracy.
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