Directoire style

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Directoire. Austere, simplified Neo-Classicism favoured during the Directoire (1795–9) in France sparingly ornamented with motifs associated with the French Revolution (e.g. Phrygian cap), and after 1798 including Egyptian elements (e.g. lotus and sphinx). Taste demanded more opulent decoration by 1800, and the following Empire style embraced more Egyptianizing detail, especially after the publication of Denon's account of Egypt and Nubia (1802). The Directoire style provided the inspiration for the American Directory style (c.1805–30) in general terms, except that the favoured motifs in the USA were those of Freemasonry. American Directory was a variant on the USA Federal style (1776–c.1830).

Bibliography

Chilvers, Osborne, & Farr (eds.), (1988);
J. Curl (2005);
Lampugnani (ed.)& Dinsmoor (1986)

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Directoire style (dērĕktwär´), in French interior decoration and costume, the manner prevailing about the time of the Directory (1795–99), from which the name is derived. A style transitional between Louis XVI and Empire, it is characterized by a departure from the sumptuousness of the aristocratic regime. Furniture became more angular and severe; marquetry was replaced by large surfaces of painted and waxed wood. These new forms and the continued taste for Greco-Roman design, which forecast the Empire style, were established by the architects Percier and Fontaine and the artist J. L. David. The chemise gown with low neckline and high waistline, inspired by antiquity, pervaded women's fashion. The incroyables, dandies of the period, favored tight breeches and coats with wide lapels.