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Biedermaier

Encyclopedy Index

In Central Europe, Biedermeier refers to work in the fields of literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions and contrasts with the Romantic era which preceded it. 

Furniture design
An influential style of furniture design from Germany during the years 1815-1848 based on utilitarian principles. The period extended later in Scandinavia as disruptions due to numerous German wars were absent. Throughout the period emphasis is kept on clean lines and minimal ornamentality; as the period progressed however the style moved from the early rebellion against Romantic era fussiness to increasingly flourished commissions by a rising middle class eager to show their wealth. The idea of clean lines and utilitarian postures would resurface in the twentieth century, continuing to the present day. Middle to late Biedermeier work in furniture design represents the last gasps of Old Europe. Social forces originating in France would change the artisan-patron system that achieved this period of design, first in the Germanic states and then into Scandinavia.


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