Karl Johan Period
by Liza Laserow
1810 the french officer Jean Babtiste Bernadotte came to southern Sweden accompanied by one of Napoleons marshals Monsieur Bernadotte , the man who was going to become King Karl XIV Johan. It was at this time the French Empire style came to Sweden. Napoleons architects: Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine developed the style in France during the late 1790. They took Neoclassicism and gave it heavier look. Inspired by the roman empires strong lined art and architecture warlike attributes such as eagles, shields, helmets and spears became important symbols of the period. The glory years for this period was between 1804-1814 when Napoleon I was the emperor which also gave the period its name; Empire. During 1830 the style got softer and late Empire and in southern part of Sweden it got blonder – Biedermeier.
Mahognay with gilded details dominated the periods materials for furniture and mirrors and it was during this period the wallpaper was introduced in the form of panoramic views with classical ruins. Silk upholstery with matching window treatments in strong colors such as green, lemon yellow, red or gold was the highest fashion. Sweden also got its first silk weaving mill thanks to a Swede who smuggled a weaving chair to Sweden from France.
Read more about Swedish porphyry during the Karl Johan period.