Art has always been appreciated all over the world. No matter what time or age we are living in, the beauty of art and culture cannot be dimmed or overlooked.
The Egyptian revival in the decorative arts is considered to be one of the great distinguishing art movements of the 19th century. The period known as the Egyptian revival appears mainly in the early nineteenth century. It is a style of Western art in which Egyptian motifs were used on all manner of decorative objects, including furniture, lighting, sculpture, painting, etc in addition to architecture and design.
Generally, it is credited to the awareness of the public about ancient Egyptian monuments encouraged by Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt and his defeat of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of the Nile in the year 1798. A scientific entourage of 160 academics joined Napoleon on this journey to Egypt to document and record their findings.
The research and drawings made on that expedition were published in a series from 1809 to 1826 known as the ‘Description de l’Égypte’. This founded the inspiration of Egyptian revival in Europe. Few of the designs of this expedition included tea sets with pyramid patterns printed on them and sofas with legs on the shape of sphinxes. Egyptian revival art became immensely popular and appeared throughout Europe.
The Egyptian revival took imagery and art from ancient Egypt and used them in a different light for western tastes. Thomas Hope for instance had designed an entire room of furniture inspired by Egyptian originals. Sir John Soane embraced the new discoveries fully and famously combined Egyptian archaeological pieces in his London town house.
Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt became the stepping stone of the emergence of Egyptian revival art. People were so inspired by these works of art that the Egyptian theme increased tenfold. The influence of Egyptian art could be seen everywhere in early 19th century Europe.
The Egyptian revival decorative art and architecture inspired artists from all over the world. The people of France, in particular, became very interested in Egyptian revival decorative art and incorporated everything from lotuses, winged lions, and sphinxes on furniture and architecture.
Some of the most famous Egyptian revival decorative furniture included ornamented armchairs with goat feet and pharaoh’s heads, elegant and overstuffed sofas with designs of lotus blossoms and palmiform columns. These exotic designs added high fashion to the upper class homes of France.
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