In any review of French decorative art, furniture must inevitably play a major part, and in this article we examine briefly the development of furniture as a major artform in France, during the 17th and 18th centuries. We look at the design of various types of furniture and furnishings, the interior architecture, as well as materials and techniques, plus some of the main designers.
During the 16th century furniture was the province of the menuisier who worked in solid wood. The nearest English equivalent to the term is &#039carpenter and joiner&#039, but this is not entirely satisfactory. At this time the technique of inlaying, extremely fashionable in Italy, was in France the province of the menuisier, but when it was replaced by more sophisticated techniques such as veneering and marquetry in the early years of the 17th century, the most skilled menuisiers became known as ebenistes, a term often translated as &#039cabinet-maker&#039 which again is not strictly accurate. The menuisier proper continued to be responsible for seat-furniture, table-supports, such furniture as buffets (a kind of cupboard) and armoires (wardrobes) of solid wood, the decorative carved panelling for walls (boiseries), door-cases and overdoor mouldings, and window-cases and shutters. In this he was assisted by wood-carvers, and by painters, varnishers, and gilders. So let us take a look at best antique confessional doors with 24 pictures below.
1. Filefr Saint Quentin Sur Le Homme Church Confessional Doorjpg
Ebenistes were so called from the fact that when ebony (ebene) was first introduced into France towards the end of the 16th century it was an exceedingly rare and expensive wood used principally for veneers and inlays. Craftsmen who specialized in this work became known as menuisiers en ebene, later shortened to ebenistes, and since veneering was almost invariably done on case-furniture of one kind or another the ebeniste was necessarily also a cabinet-maker. The term, however, can be applied correctly to any kind of furniture decorated with veneers or marquetry, and with related techniques.