The style of Louis the XIV is without any doubt the most distinguished and sumptuous for its decorative richness and impeccable taste. The wealth in the use of materials like gold, marble , crystal and gilded hand chiseled bronze is unparalleled. Ornament is abundant, but never overcharged. The quality of craftsmanship during this period is considered to be the highest ever in the history of French decorative arts. The most common decorative elements in this period are: The sun, shells , masks with rays (symbol of the sun king) along with the two L crossing each other as well as the use of military symbols like helmets. Plants are also used in the designs, specially laurel and acanthus leaves. Garlands of flowers are also frequent. The use of symmetry and straight lines will later become a great contrast between the style of Louis the XIV and the later Regency and Louis the XV periods. During the long and prosperous period of Louis the XIV all artistic academies where founded. The creative production and its influence all over Europe cannot be questioned, this is the reason why the reign of Louis the XIV is called the Grand Si cle."


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