LOV E TO LOUNGE

Chaise longues for every home

Home & Decor (Singapore) - - Contents -

An el­e­gant piece of fur­ni­ture de­signed for leisure and re­pose, we un­cover the his­tory of the chaise longue and present six cap­ti­vat­ing de­signs that will stand the test of time.

Taken from Joseph Aron­son’s The En­cy­clo­pe­dia of Fur­ni­ture ( 1938), the def­i­ni­tion of the chaise longue is a “long chair, a form of sofa or day-bed with an up­hol­stered back for re­clin­ing”. Be­fore the chaise longue as­sumed its mod­ern French name, it was known to the an­cient Greeks as the kline, and to the Ro­mans as the lec­tus, with the for­mer group im­i­tat­ing the orig­i­nal de­sign from the Egyp­tians. Both the Greeks and Ro­mans used it as a bed and for re­clin­ing dur­ing meals.

An el­e­gant piece of fur­ni­ture de­signed for leisure and re­pose, we un­cover the long and sto­ried his­tory of this in­dul­gent seat­ing ap­point­ment, and present six cap­ti­vat­ing de­signs that will stand the test of time.

Fol­low­ing a rel­a­tive lull dur­ing me­di­ae­val times, the chair ap­peared in France in the 17th cen­tury, and by the reign of Louis XIV, which be­gan in 1643, the seat had be­come ubiq­ui­tous in France. The apoth­e­o­sis of the his­toric chair came in 1800 when the neo­clas­si­cal artist JACQUESLOUIS David painted his por­trait of French so­cialite Madame Re­camier re­clin­ing lan­guorously on the painter’s el­e­gant chaise longue. The fame and in­flu­ence of the paint­ing was such that the French still call the chaise longue a re­camier to­day.

The chair’s pop­u­lar­ity crossed the English Chan­nel in the late 1600s, be­com­ing a favourite fur­ni­ture piece of the newly mon­eyed classes in Vic­to­rian Eng­land. By the 20th cen­tury, the chair was be­ing mass-pro­duced in cheaper ma­te­ri­als, and be­came as es­sen­tial as the up­right piano in liv­ing rooms.

To­day, af­ter more than three cen­turies, the chaise longue lives on and can be found around the world.

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