Swedish Style Eras
Renaissance (1520 – 1650)
- Simplicity and functionality ruled during the Renaissance period and focus was on the individual.
- Furniture was seen as a symbol of social status and leaned on the Classical architectural design of the time.
- Influences came mainly from Italy with geometric forms contributing a certain harmony and balance to interior spaces and design. A restrained look with simple designs and carved ornaments, often inspired by historical themes, is the epitome of the Renaissance era
- Immigrants from Germany and Holland brought quality craftmanship and a Nordic touch was added.
Baroque (1650 – 1750)
- Louis XIV in Versailles set the stage for this period, which reflected a rich and extravagant lifestyle
- Furnishings were exaggerated with strong colors, flamboyant style, and grandiose Acanthus leaves, visible during the Renaissance, became even more popular and C and S shapes were prominent
- The furniture style became lighter and less decorated as it moved into Late Baroque
- This was a time when the finer things in life came into focus and Sweden’s style was influenced by both France and Britain resulting in extravagant splendor
Rococo (1750 – 1775)
- The Rococo period brought a break from the dark and heavy style which was prevalent during the Baroque
- Soft and asymmetric forms inspired by nature.
- It was sophisticated and light
- Reflected a playful, idyllic country life and S shapes were dominant
- Furniture also became more comfortable as padding and upholstery were introduced.
Gustavian (1775 – 1810)
- Furniture and interior decoration of the wealthy and King Gustav III set the trends
- Inspirations were historical classical structures like the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Another strong influence was the court of Versailles and craftsmen were sent to Paris for in-depth study
- The style is elegant and airy, reserved and exquisitely decorated with a strong Swedish character
- Whitewashed ceilings were in vogue and moldings and stucco commonly decorated the walls
- Pedestals and columns were defining elements
Empire/Karl Johan (1810 – 1840)
- “Second Bronze Age”, due to the period being characterized by fire-gilded bronze
- It was a majestic era with colorful interiors and decoration inspired by classical ideals.
- Style was not as lavish as the French model and was more English inspired, where it was referred to as the “Regency style”
- A more unpretentious, simple form and a bourgeois character
- Influenced by the French revolution, warlike symbols were commonly used
- Symbols and ornaments inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman empires
- Popular style of grouping furniture underneath a chandelier was introduced as well as wallpaper and colorful textiles.
Revivalism (1830 – 1895)
- Revivalism is a term for a variety of European styles
- People preferred new made possible by the industrialization of furniture making
- Strong passion for elaborate textile products and extravagant types of wood
- Furniture provided greater comfort and generally displayed a stronger, more exaggerated form.
Folk Art “Allmoge” (1750 – 1850)
- “Allmoge” comes from Old Norse, meaning “all the people, country people”
- The style was taken from the wealthy, but it was simplified to suit the rural setting
- The choice of wood was mainly pine and birch and most often created by craftsmen who had carpentry and cabinetry as a hobby
- Clearly displays the geographical differences by the colours and motifs – both in the furniture and textiles
- A style that stands out is “kurbits”, which originates from Dalarna and is characterized by the richly painted floral patterns.