Napoleon III pink velvet lounge – France, end of the XIXth century
This wooden and pink velvet lounge is composed of two armchairs and a sofa. The blackened wood of the structure is decorated with partially gilded paintings reminiscent of Japanese and Chinese lacquers. They depict scenes of Japanese life populated with characters. The lines of the furniture are enhanced with gold, giving the ensemble a refined decor.
In the second half of the 19th century, the bourgeoisie was fond of luxurious objects. The opulent styles of the Ancien Régime were brought up to date and assembled to form original, eclectic and highly decorative works. In this context, blackened wood is a privileged material in this taste for deep blacks so particular to the Second Empire. These dark woods harmonize perfectly with the precious inlaid materials and the richly coloured fabrics that warm the interiors.
This lounge, mounted on casters, is both comfortable and refined. The Napoleon III style gives great importance to decoration and ornamentation, as evidenced by the floral paintings decorating the uprights of this furniture or the fringes finishing off the armrests. Indeed, one can imagine a set of this magnitude in a Parisian salon typical of the Second Republic. This period, which sounds pomp and opulence in interiors, is sometimes referred to as the “triumph of the upholsterers”. The rich fabrics and fabrics related to the bourgeois apartments in an ever-increasing search for comfort. Numerous paintings bear witness to these sumptuous interiors, whose reputation spread throughout Europe. The Salon of Princess Mathilde, cousin of Napoleon III, is one of the jewels of the Empire. Abundantly represented, it allows one to imagine for a moment the fabulous interiors that were certainly the scene of this charming ensemble presented by the Galerie Vauclair.