The reign of the French King Louis XIV was characterised by the Baroque style. The Versailles Palace and the Louvre were decorated in a strong, dramatic and exuberant style echoing theKing’s strong leadership in a period of war and colonial empire building.
The French classical Baroque style was grand and impressive, a symbol of power. Baroque reached its highest zenith when it was executed on a grand scale, especially in architecture and sculpture. The Baroque is a style that used exaggerated motion, gestures and expressions to produce drama, tension, exuberance and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance and music. The style started around 1600 in Italy and spread from there to most of Europe.
Baroque mirrors were decorated with elaborate and symmetrical foliate designs. Imposing and dramatically carved beds stood proudly in formal, sumptuous bedrooms. Glass doored, towering display cabinets were filled with the most prized possessions of their owners. This is a powerful style that is not for the feint-hearted!