Rococo and Gustavian Grace

The 1800-th century is the golden age of Swedish interiors. The Masters of furniture turned carpentry in to fine art. The florid Rococo and Gustavian grace has come to be appreciated all over the world.

In about 1750 the Rococo style with its sweeping lines and flowers filled the manor houses and bourgeois homes in Sweden. The style drew heavily on the French Rococo. But as is often the case, the Swedish style took on a more moderate form. Painted rather than gilded furniture. Most known for the soft pastel colours. Less known are the sometimes strong and vibrant colours. For instance the craze for China and the exotic.

When Gustav III came to the Swedish throne, in 1772, he just returned from the French court of Versailles. He was profoundly inspired by the latest French Neoclassical architecture. Later trips to France and Italy gave further impetus to his passion for the classical. Even though Sweden, during Gustav III:s reign, rose to a level architectural and cultural sophistication never known before, most manor houses of the time could not afford the gilded luxury furniture. Local craftsmen recreated these costly designs from materials and methods more available to them. Techniques such as faux marble surfaces, a variety of grey and white shades, and Swedish pine painted to resemble mahogany.

For a miniaturist all this is a well of inspiration and challenges. Imagine an armchair in flowing Rococo. Not a straight angle anywhere.