Louis XV Chest of Drawers
32" x 46" x 21"
This hand-carved 18th-century commode (chest-of-drawers) originates from northern France and is in the style of Louis XV (r. 1715–1774). French grey paint shows wear consistent with age and use. Beautifully proportioned, serpentine woodwork replicates the chest’s undulating curves. A spectacular low relief undergirds the two drawers. King Louis XV’s court style, the Rococo or rocaille, is defined in part by scrolling curves, sculpted molding and pastel colours. The commode attained special status in the Rococo toilette, the dressing rooms of the elite à la mode, who socially performed exaggerated identities with flamboyant dress and makeup. While functional, these chests were the most ornate furnishing and the aesthetic focal point of such interiors. Commode tops showcased precious accessories such as rouge, jewelry and small mirrors to further assert one’s social status and fashionability. In the modern era, this chest is elegant in any room, although it is a particularly romantic solution for bedroom storage.
At this time in France, the Louvre Museum first opened on August 10, 1793, during the French Revolution. Situated within the 12th-century Louvre Palace, the original museum collection consisted of 537 paintings and 184 objects of art, the majority of which were confiscated royal property. Due to structural issues in the 12th-century palace, the museum closed from 1796–1801, at which point the collection was increased under Napoleon’s rule (1769–1821), and briefly renamed Musée Napoléon before his abdication in 1814. Today, the Louvre is the world’s most-visited museum, and a historic Parisian landmark.