Arader Galleries

Empire Style White Painted and Parcel Gilt Sofa

$ 9,000.00
Empire Style White Painted and Parcel Gilt Sofa
Sofa size: 71” (width) x 33” (height) x 27” (depth)
Circa early 1800s
The Empire style is originally the elaborate Neoclassical style of the Napoleon's French First Empire (1804-1815); incorporating Roman-inspired symbols, furniture, and even hairdos as part of an ambitious scheme to relate Napoleon to Emperor Augustus as the French government was transformed from a republic into an empire. The style was largely inspired by Napoleon's architects Percier and Fontaine.

The discovery of Heculaneum and Pompeii in the first half of the 18th Century inspired an enthusiasm for the classical aesthetic throughout Europe. This influenced not only furniture, but every aspect of fine, applied and decorative arts well into the 1800s. American formal classical furniture is considered a distinctively American interpretation of English and French furniture designs that emerged during this period. Characteristically, this style was adopted with most fervor in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, all centers of formal cabinetmaking at the forefront of the industry. The popular subcategory, the Empire style, characterized by its French influence, is world-renowned for its mahogany veneering and detail.
The Empire style combines the grandeur and martial symbols of Rome that were popularized in the early 18th Century, with Ancient Egyptian motifs and elements of Greek architecture. In 1798, Napoleon returned triumphant from his Egyptian campaign. The worlds of fashion and the applied arts also took up the Egyptian theme, with motifs such as sphinxes, winged lions, lotus blossoms, caryatids and scarabs. All over Europe, Egyptian themes, as well as those drawn from Ancient Greece and Rome, were to become prominent features of the sumptuous Empire style of decoration.