National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Side Chair Side Chair
Rendered by Louis Annino (artist), c. 1937
watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 28.7 x 22.7 cm (11 5/16 x 8 15/16 in.) Original IAD Object: Back 39"high, seat 17 1/2 high. Seat 21 1/2" wide.
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 18 of 26

An interest in classical culture was stimulated by the discovery of the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748. Robert Adam, a Scottish architect who had visited the ancient Roman sites before he settled in England in 1762, helped change the fashion in interior decoration. Adam turned to antiquity for motifs, whereas the motifs of the earlier eighteenth century were inspired by Renaissance and baroque design. A restrained neoclassicism replaced the exuberant Chippendale forms. The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, published in 1788 by the London cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite, did much to popularize the neoclassical style that Adam had introduced. This Hepplewhite shield-back chair exemplifies the style. The back is carved in a graceful design composed of classical motifs such as an urn, plumes, and drapery. The chair has slender tapering square legs ending in spade feet, typical of the Hepplewhite style.

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