Also known as Louis Seize, Louis XVI’s style is a style of architecture, furniture, decoration, and art created during Louis XVI’s 19-year reign in France, just before the French Revolution.
Thought to be a reaction and juxtaposition to the prior more elaborate styles, Louis XVI style developed at the end of the Baroque Period and continued until the birth of French Neoclassicism.
King Louis XVI showed little enthusiasm for the old world styles of the Baroque Period and he sought out a create a new “beau ideal” that focused on the purity and grandeur of Ancient Romans and Greeks.
Inspired by Ancient Roman architecture and art, distinct features of the Louis XVI style are linear lines, small repeated motifs, floral medallions hanging from ribbons, acanthus leaves, urns, dolphins, ram, and lion heads, and griffins.
Greco-Roman elements, often used in earlier and later French styles, were also quick common and included fluted and twisted columns, Caryathids, and corbels.