Biedermeier: From Craftsmanship to Design
Vienna and Prague, 1815-1830
Musée du Louvre

The name Biedermeier is not that of a designer, but a fictional character in a Munich sartorial weekly. This well-intentioned and family-focused everyman embodied the conservative, stolid and domestic values of the period of peace in Central Europe that followed the Napoleonic wars.

One hundred works are on display, an excellent sampling of the stylized geometrical forms and bold color schemes that continue to influence and remain design prototypes for modern aesthetics in industrial design.

Tranquility and stability pervaded the political and social climate of the time, encouraging a stable middle class in the later part of the period. The "Wohnzimmer," or living room, as distinct from the formal salon, was also a Biedermeier invention. This design period emulates English Sheraton and Regency style, defecting from the ornate French styles, and defined a design ethos of understated expression in quietly imaginative craftsmanship.