19th and 20th Century French Decoration During all the governmental upheavals that took place before the Republic was permanently established, France had little opportunity to do original work in the area of decorative pursuits. Well satisfied with past accomplishment, 19th Century French decoration offered little that was new until designers sought to create a new style by deliberate neglect of tradition. Art Nouveau is no longer new in France or elsewhere and went through many phases in its persistent endeavor to produce something altogether different from the accomplishment of the past. The Exposition of Decorative Arts, held in Paris in the summer of 1925, offered little that surprised any one familiar with the various cults that are striving by juxtaposition of lines, planes, and color combinations to gain a new mode of artistic expression, typical of the new era in modern innovation and world progress generally. The consensus of opinion was that more was accomplished in French textiles, especially printed textiles, than in any other department of decorative art. Tattle that was applicable to modern living and especially to the modern home was shown, but much was done in the working out of color effects that were suggestive for the more striking decoration of rooms not constantly lived in, such as lunch and tea rooms, restaurants and clubs. The important feature of the trend in modern French work seems to be the addition of decorative lines which have little relation to structural forms. We find this particularly in furniture design. Other features are the accenting of highly polished richly grained wood surfaces and much use of silver and gold in large areas. Wild animal rugs are much used on floors, fabric patterns have a tendency toward cubistic design and ceilings and over-mantel paintings are used to exhibit the work of modern French painters. Metal work, glassware, and lighting fixture have been given much thought, and due to the fact that structural qualities in these materials are less important, the freedom shown in their design has been more national. France today offers the interior decorator the unsurpassed accomplishments of her great historical periods, but is also courageously if often unsuccessfully, striving to bring into some useful form her glimpses of what shall be in future days. This author is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA, specializing in interior design, home improvement, and the history of different cultures interior design habits. Another article on french - click here.
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