What was life like in the Renaissance? As Europe transformed from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the daily life of each person also changed as well. Even though many people still lived hard lives full of work and toil. While people began to enjoy more luxuries, finer foods, nicer clothes, and the arts. There were also more craftsmen, artisans, and merchants who developed into a middle class of people who had money but weren’t nobles or royalty.
The Italian Renaissance Furniture
Medieval furniture in Europe has survived until the Renaissance they made furniture in relatively small quantities. The new interest in Greek and Roman antiquities influenced Italian Renaissance furniture and benefited from an interest in the art of many of the wealthy people. Like most of the movies we watch about the renaissance time, marriage during that time was a major component of the “good life” during the period. It was also a complicated affair shaped by the intersection of private desires with more practical considerations. Delve into the ways Renaissance societies constructed marriage, and how marriage customs differed depending on geographic location.
Now let’s get back to the topic, at the beginning of the Renaissance, they developed furniture in the style of furniture that was distinguished by its national types, but in general of oak or walnut richly carved, massive and palatial in structure, and classical in decorative motifs. The Renaissance spirit found its fullest expression in carving, and to such an extent that cabinet-makers from all over Europe came to learn from their Italian counterparts. The Italian Renaissance heavily influenced European furniture styles during this period. Originated in the age of the Italian Renaissance, with its grand revival of the art forms of ancient Rome and Greece, and for much of the first half of the 16th century differed little from developments in Italy.
The Italian Renaissance furniture style had a seigniorial, palatial character, rather than a domestic one. The lines and proportion in classic details had Florence as the leader, without neglecting the ornamental details, while the Venetian furniture was even more elaborate.
Carving of Renaissance Furniture
The carving was the main ornamentation of the Italian Renaissance furniture. The cabinet-makers partially abandoned the oak, which was the common wood of the Gothic period, and began to use walnut, chestnut, and other woods, which were better suited for fine, detailed carving. The unique Italian Gothic was already coexisting with Renaissance elements since the 14th century. The decorative Italian styles lagged somewhat behind the architecture, and Gothic details persisted more or less until the true classic revival of the 16th century.
Come to Kaliuda Gallery to custom your furniture inspired by the Renaissance period. Located in the heart of Bali, we are one of the best Bali furniture stores and antique galleries with curated antique collections with the best quality and service. Keep reading our blog to find out more about the history of furniture.
The cabinet was one of the most important pieces of Italian Renaissance furniture. With its palatial, architectural character, it was imposing, at times even monumental. It was richly carved and inlaid. Italian Renaissance chairs were numerous, either with high-back or of the curule form (the Savonarola chair). The high-backed chairs were of state majesty, richly carved, and perpendicular in form, with square seats. To make them more comfortable, cushions of leather, silk, or velvet were used. The wood used was either oak or walnut.
The curule chair, being smaller, was more comfortable. It had an X shape, of Roman inspiration. Frequently it was made as a folding chair, very handy for persons of rank traveling. Made mostly of Italian walnut, the curule chair was carved, sometimes gilded. The back was made of stretched leather or velvet, while the seat could be made in the same manner, or of wood, with a cushion placed on it.
Towards the end of the 16th century, upholstered chairs appeared, with the upholstery made in silk, tapestry, or leather. Italian Renaissance furniture tables were also more elegant than their medieval counterparts. They were rectangular, supported by solid carved, shaped consoles, often ending in a claw or scroll feet. The tops were wooden thick planks decorated with inlay and gilding, or slabs of marble. Also, a common piece of the Italian Renaissance furniture was the cassone, the marriage chest, where the wedding gifts were kept. Made of walnut, oak, or cypress, the chests were carved, painted, or gilded. They could have a sarcophagus form or could have all their sides perpendicular.
The rapid adoption of the decorative models of antiquity is one of the features of French Renaissance furniture under the influence of the Italian artists, who were already using them for hundreds of years. The early French Renaissance furniture preserved the old motifs. At the beginning of the 16th century, there were works in the purest Gothic style still being executed.