In large format and sumptuous color, this volume surveys a nineteenth-century European style that has become all the rage in contemporary interior decorating.
After many years of undeserved neglect, Biedermeier furniture, painting, textiles, and decorative arts are enjoying renewed popularity. The Biedermeier era (1815–48) was a period of tranquility following the devastation of the Napoleonic Wars and a fertile time for the design and production of household furniture and accessories. The furniture of the Biedermeier period is characterized by architectural simplicity and the use of light-colored fruitwoods offset by contrasting bands of ebony and maple inlay. It is this timeless sophistication that has once again brought Biedermeier to the attention of collectors and designers around the world.
Biedermeier, with its newly revised introduction, serves as an unrivaled sourcebook for the furniture and décor of this period. Angus Wilkie traces the era’s complex history, giving a broad cultural and social background to the work itself. Providing an overview of the astonishing variety of furniture produced by local cabinetmakers from Germany to Scandinavia, this text showcases candlesticks, secretaries, and spittoons crafted in rich fruitwoods and decorated with inlays and sunburst veneers. With the aid of photographs of actual pieces and previously unpublished drawings, the regional designs are compared to one another, giving a rare view of the world of the nineteenth-century craftsman and of the design philosophy underlying the elegant aesthetics of the Biedermeier style. Wilkie’s pioneering research is accompanied by over 160 specially commissioned color photographs, as well as watercolors of Biedermeier interiors, sketches, original textile designs, and original drawings of furniture and draperies reproduced from the Imperial Archives in Vienna. With its display of entire rooms as well as individual pieces, Biedermeier has garnered a wide audience among decorators, homeowners, collectors, dealers, and historians.