Furniture styles

When people talk about the style of furniture, usually involve their inextricable link with styles of architecture (do not want to remember the set the teeth on edge saying about furniture as «small architecture». But in the history of mankind architectural and furniture styles hardly collected a little more than a dozen. We confine ourselves only those of them that can be considered the world, that is, having the features, characteristics and trends in design, materials, principles of manufacture and decoration, are clearly seen in the large mass of furniture products, and most importantly — amenable to reproduction and repeated replication. One or the other style can be attributed to the International, when he distributed in more than one country, and even in a small group of countries. Otherwise, it is only the national variety. And talk about those products, which themselves or their members in one way or another the form can be seen not only in museums, but in real life, even if not daily. We exclude from the review of pre-Petrine national furniture art, which speak later.

The term «furniture» (from the Latin «mobilis») means «moving» and best of all rests on the concept of «personal property». Furniture was present in human dwellings from the earliest times. She let him sit, lie, store food and household items, does not work on the damp ground, or bare rocks, but at some convenient distance from them. Development of furniture went along with the development of human society, it reflects the interests and tastes of specific classes, processes, historical and geographical discoveries, the mutual exchange of technical and scientific progress, the improvement of human needs, and more. So, stepping over a number of centuries, we go to the first truly international style — Romanesque.

Romanesque style

Romanesque style to European furniture is about the same as the Latin for all European languages. This style became the proto-language, which subsequently spoke mebelshchiki virtually the whole of Europe and the world. He was born between the years 800 BC and the beginning of the second millennium after the decline of the Roman Empire in the ecclesiastical architecture of southern France, becoming the result of development and creative recycling of Roman monuments, heritage of Byzantine culture and a culture of Franks, the Normans, the Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians. It was a time of celebration and spread the Christian faith, which was followed by Christian art, and aimed at the glorification of the cult of this religion.

For this time is characterized by a powerful fortress-temples, allows a continuous defense, with small windows-loopholes, strong arches, in the absence of any kind was a special interior decoration. Living in temples and domestic buildings and premises (all home-made, only the most utilitarian) — it is tables, benches, chests. But soon in craft media highlighted the most gifted cabinetmakers and carpenters who have become professionals who are attracted to the work of the richest monasteries, although their names have remained obscure history.

A typical dwelling of the feudal lord of the time — high stone tower, which in the case could well serve defensive purposes («dungeon»), fireplaces heated with an open flame, heat from which inevitably goes up. Sex it lined with stone tiles. Sometimes the walls were lined with wood.

House of urban residents — even more modest, with little or no furniture. Cabinets and chests, previously reserved only for the storage of church utensils and liturgical books, first appeared in the homes of the wealthy, and the trunks are immediately furniture for sitting and lying, and the capacity for road luggage, then they certainly were supplied with sturdy carrying handles . To protect against rodents all of the chests to be installed on a more or less high legs. First chests resemble some Russian breadbasket — GEL for grain storage. Built at the time — these are the same boxes, only installed on the side, being bound to the strength of the iron bars that hold as separate boards, whipped into a shield, and front and side of their hand. Since the cut thick tree trunks have not yet learned their split on large block, which roughly treated with an ax or adze. For the bonding of butt in the manufacture of chests or cabinets used multiple buckles and metal plates and forged hinges, handles and locks. These metal overlay sometimes very complex and creative, and are true or forged hammered masterpieces not only serve the purposes of expediency, but also beauty. Often, in order to disguise the place is not too successful compounds used chalk filler, wrapping a layer of tissue and subsequent painting, and sometimes even themed paintings. Tables of this era, too, were made of chipped timbers. At first, they were a broad plank on two trestles, and construction was going only as needed — dinner, work. Church (altar) tables were often carved from stone.

Beds to sleep in cold rooms — just the type of cot, equipped with canopy-canopy, is a structure in the form of high chiseled columns interconnected likeness frame with guardrail own bed low bars.

Seating benches often used. Some chairs were meant only the head of household or the most distinguished guests at home, the higher the chair, or the chair, the higher the status of sitting in it. A chair or armchair relied equally high footrest, separating them from the cold stone floor.

For decoration of furniture used lathe work. Powerful flywheel, rotate the apprentice is given in the course of a pig, fixed at the centers, and the master, based on podruchnik, excess material removed with a chisel. In this way of turning on the machine elements began to make the bed with posts, chairs, chests of decorative details. Some chests began to appear shallow carved ornament in the form of alternating arches, plants, human and animal figures and mythical creatures. Often furniture decorated in neat rows of alternating nails, geometric patterns, plain painted colors.

Need for Speed

This style of the time of occurrence coincided with the separation of the urban population in the age of feudalism. On the historical stage, classes except the aristocracy and the clergy, there were free and wealthy people, which in the next era will be called the Third Estate. This broad classes of artisans and merchants united in associations or shop within the same profession. Industrialists and merchants had to assert itself in its environment, in an urban environment, and better means for such a statement about themselves than following the aristocracy and the church in an effort to have a beautiful home, filled with rich furnishings, was not found. These two classes, in addition to the first two expanded the circle of major customers and consumers a new style of furniture. This style originated in the original church architecture on the verge of XII and XIII centuries. in north-western France, where the city of Chartres and Bourges cathedrals were built the first new style. They feature new structural steel shapes with a high load-bearing towers, arches, relatively thin columns unloaded walls, transmitting the load of the roof on the exterior, exterior buttresses and flying buttresses, and allowing you to create huge voids mezharochnyh gaps and windows with pointed arches. The name of this style was born much later, in the Renaissance, as a symbol of psevdodikosti, in contrast to the high culture of the Greek and Roman heritage. The name «Gothic» comes from the ready — Germanic tribes who came in II. from Scandinavia via Poland, invaded Europe, devastated Spain, southern France, Italy and then settled in central Europe. Interestingly, the Goths themselves to the creation of this style were not involved. In Germany, this style came a century later, and reached full bloom here even two centuries later, in the XIV and XV centuries.

Church architecture begins to dictate the shape and design residential buildings, and then the furniture in them. The most typical style elements are Gothic church furniture items, altar screen, chairs and the most popular -tserkovnye benches and chairs. They survive and become widely used until the modern era (for example, the lobby and lounge mansion Zinaida Morozova Spiridonovka project FI Shechtel now the Reception House of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs). These pews or chairs, as a rule, with a seat for one person, with a high straight-backed and high armrests. The invention in the first to third XIV. Sawmill machine allowed to dissolve the timber at a relatively thin boards. This eliminated the need to cut down the solid wood furniture, such as such as chipping chairs and chests for storage and church service utensils, the main advantage of which has been their impossibly high because -nevozmozhnost them not only to steal, but to move. Boards have allowed to make furniture frame-paneled design and the panels to create a variety of carvings. It is a church chair or bench tested all the main fancy finds the new style, including «masverk» — slotted (tracery) drawing, twisted ribbon «linen fold,» they are the same cartridges, an imitation of a piece of leather with twisted edges, and later — a complex low relief carving in the form of grape branches or medallions with male heads in knightly armor.

Soft stuffed seats have not yet been invented, but the seats can be found some pillows — as a legacy of the former previously used for the same purpose animal skins. The back and sides of the seat richly decorated with shallow relief carving «masverk.» It was a complicated figure, built with the help of a ruler and compass, often in the form of alternating rosettes of pointed arches and stars. Figure ornamental carving on individual pieces of furniture are often made deliberately asymmetric bars, and even front-bearing seats sometimes have differing unpaired carved pattern. As a legacy of church furniture are chairs were uncomfortable because they do not have the inclination nor the rear legs or back. The seat of the chair, if it is used at home, hinged, under it — the storage space for clothes and linen, and a chair designed for the bedroom, and the second had a seat with a hole for hygienic purposes.

Because among the new class was great desire to show his newfound wealth, in this environment the massive pieces of furniture are closed and low, from the waist up, sliding kredentsy sideboard with beautiful hinged front doors, but more often — open sliding postavtsa (sideboards) with several shelves, floors for demonstration expensive silver, sometimes gold, but mostly tin and crockery. The course was a large dining table, usually with two separate plank sides, ornate carvings and parts turning and interconnected tsargami-podstolya, which shows the same slotted or relief ornament in the form of sockets complex form or bunches of grapes and leaves . For the first time there are some written Tola to lift the cover and lots of drawers for stationery underneath.

The houses «novobogateev» become necessary heavy and large chests for storing valuables, household items and clothing that usually accompany the bride when moving to the groom’s house and which are also used for sitting and lying. Because of the damp and rats in homes trunks had to be done on low-legged, and they get massive relief forged iron hinges and locks kljucheviny, as part of their decoration.

As an ornamental decoration of these pieces of furniture are widely used figure of so-called «linen folds» — strips of cloth stacked vertically, with partial superposition of one layer to another, and on the backs of chairs and armchairs appears slotted design — solar terms borrowed from ancient pagan beliefs and resembling a series of walking in a circle and directed to one side of comets with tails or commas.

Since the Gothic houses initially ceilings were high (only later high room became a member on several floors at heights), to heat their homes with the open fire (other simply did not exist) is difficult, and the bedrooms, except maybe the royal apartments, not heated, sleep Comes in a bed with a canopy indispensable — canopy creating drooping bunting cloth like a mini room, closed from cold and drafts. Then there were some models of four-poster beds and polubaldahinami differing shapes and decorations bedside columns-pillars. There were several national, and hence the regional varieties of the Gothic furniture. While in the north area of ​​distribution of this style of furniture made of solid hardwood timber, mostly oak, then south (alpine Switzerland, Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria) are widely used coniferous wood, usually pine. Note that for countries with a strong influence of Moorish culture, in particular Spain and Italy, a little less than typical steel abundant floral designs with colored details. Remembered and preserved since ancient times form the convertible, the so-called curule chair, but now it has ceased to be convertible, and only in appearance resembles a prototype, albeit in a more sophisticated version. By the way, in ancient Rome, the right to use this chair belonged to high-ranking officials and representatives of the judiciary, to submit its responsibilities on the central square just sitting behind them a chair wearing special servants.

If the early Gothic (from the middle of the XIII to the middle of the XIV century.) Was characterized by the so-called «radiant» style, characterized by an abundance of stained glass in the form of window-rose with delicate colored decorative beams, the later period, especially in France, distinguished appearance of varieties of style — the «flaming» Gothic style with elongated vertically, gazing up and look like flames arches and decorative gables. Furniture that time is so richly decorated with slotted screw (modeled on the altar barriers), it becomes extremely fragile. Sometimes chairs, not even the church and home, especially at the bottom of the spokes that resemble thin column and forming a picture of the back, there are images of saints or martyrs for the faith with a fine study of face and figure, but often distorted, elongated proportions of the figures.

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