Louis XV

Louis XV
As a reaction to the period of austerity given by Maintenon with the death of Louis XIV, the French court life starts a new period of elegance and  splendor. Anyway the change is not so sudden, during the Orleans regency, the court manners  mellowed so as the female clothes. The intervention of the duchesses DeBerry and of Orleans will be fundamental, in fact in 1715 they asked to a very young and indifferent king, the permission to dress differently . .(F. Boucher, Histoire du costume en occident des origines a' nos jours, p.262). So the dress becomes more comfortable , large on the back with a drapery that ends as an half-train. While it’s still evident the regency style for the furniture, more elaborated, very few people recognize to the fans of this period the dignity of typological distinct category, taking them to the Louis XV style that is instead, according to me, completely different. In these years, a richer elaboration of the stick  stands out with pearl inclusions; the scenes cover the whole page as in the preceding century and the “dead areas” are completed with a bush of flowers. The Brisè fans belong to this period, painted with the new technique created by Monsieur Martin, a coach builder who invented a lacquering more resistant and lasting than the oil colors  commonly used. The fan becomes a fundamental accessory in the dames’ toilettes , not just at Court, but even in the province. New triumphs of goddess, happy picnic in the countryside, elegant scenes. The pages are again enriched by little birds, baskets, hats and flowers. The decorations are adapted to the social or religious occasion. But a whole page painting is not enough, the verse is divided; asymmetric reaching the codification, after the second quarter of the century, in a central scene and other two at the sides. The frames, even if they are not anymore made of precious metal, but of ivory, are in any case richly incised or covered by gold leaf. From the 1745 the Marquise Pompadour, the king ‘s favorite, the very first fans’ collector, launches the fashion of the chinoiseries and so the decorations remind oriental themes. A Chinese sitting room was present in every palace of the town or in every castle of the countryside. The rocaille theme is inserted everywhere with a richness that today we’d call exaggerated. The fashions’ times become shorter and they gather with a rhythm which has not slackened yet. The XVIII century is frivolous, the Jesuit Roberti rules, they love the frivolous ad elegant bagatelle. Today a “Adrienne” lasts (except the lady’s honour) 3 years: in the XVII without dishonour lasted 40 years “. (Enciclopedia della moda Treccani, II, p.128).
"Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail." Leonardo Da Vinci
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