Renaissance Revival Furniture: Guide and Reviews

Renaissance Revival Furniture

Renaissance is the term given to the resurrection of European classics. The art and literature of the 14th-16th centuries are considered, and contemporary craftsmanship is designed based on those models. The renaissance revival style or renaissance revival furniture is often closely related to the Rococo revival of the 1850s. The design elements of 18th century neoclassical patterns, as well as the renaissance, are extensively used and can distinguish renaissance revival furniture.

What is the Rococo Revival Style?

Rococo originated from France during the 18th century and is believed to have evolved from the Baroque style. It is an ornamented style and dates back between the years 1715 to 1774. Rococo style was first used to decorate interiors, but later, the form became popular among architectures, paintings, and sculptures.

Characteristics of Rococo style include:

  • Decorative ornamentation
  • Asymmetrical values
  • Soft color palette
  • Spiral design elements on the body


Renaissance revival furniture has design elements heavily influenced by the Rococo style or the Baroque style. The characteristics of the renaissance style include:

  • Spiral and ridged legs
  • Raised or abstract panels
  • Steadily sculpted finials and crests
  • Collage marble tops
  • Cookie shaped corners


The origin of Renaissance furniture can be traced back to the 15th century when good furniture was in high demand. With the growth in wealth and power for the middle class, Europe witnessed a rise in luxury houses and quality furniture.

Renaissance furniture in Italy manifests a robust architectural inclination. The Italian Renaissance is moderated with beautiful and simple designs. But for complex works, complicated patterns were the choice of the craftsman. The furniture was painted in bright colors and covered with gold or painted in gold.

Notable Italian Renaissance furniture includes:

  • The Cassone: The Cassone, or more popularly called the marriage coffer, had rich craftsman’s skills. These hope chests were painted with biblical and fabled depictions on the front as well as on the sides. Some marriage coffers were painted on the inside, often using a golden tint. Many popular patterns were used on the Italian furniture such as cupids, bizarre masks, circular vegetations, and strapwork.
  • The fixed writing desk: In the 15th-century, writing began to be more widespread in Italy alongside Renaissance furniture. As a result, beautifully crafted writing desks were in huge demand, which paved the way for crafting fixed writing desks.
  • Sgabello: Sgabello is a category of chair which became much preferred in Italy during the 15th century. This chair had an ornamental formation at the front and back and generally with an octagonal wooden seat. The chair usually had two front legs, and one rear leg, and the back made with a solid wood.
  • Dante chair: The most distinguishing factor of this chair is its appearance. The chair had an X-shaped design which can be folded.
  • Tables: Tables during those times were shaped like an egg. They were supported by columns and terminal figures. The central part was long-running from one end to the other.

The use of coarser oak was partially neglected by Italian Renaissance cabinet-makers as usages of walnut, and other woods were more prevalent during that time.


The popular wave of beautifully crafted and luxurious Renaissance furniture and architecture also engulfed the kingdom of France. The king of France during the 15th century paved the way for the Italian Renaissance style into the art and literature of France. The Renaissance style was adopted as the national architectural approach, which resulted in the arrival of Renaissance furniture to the country.

The valley of Loire became the main Italian Renaissance style attraction as famous mansions of kings and courtiers were constructed. Some of the most notable and famous Italian artists during that time were Leonardo da Vinci, Rosso, CeUini, and many more. Italian craftsmen traveling from one place to another also helped the cause.


The designs and patterns used in the English Renaissance models were very different from the Italian and French styles. The designs were very complicated and lacked clear lines of separations. The patterns overlapped each other, which are not present in Italian craftsmanship.

The pieces used in England Renaissance furniture are heavy and tend to have fat, round, or bulging legs. Chairs usually have low-level stretchers with twisted legs. English artisans use design inspired by arabesque and applied pendants.

Some significant Renaissance furniture styles in England include:

  • Chairs: Cushioning Wainscoat and X-form are some of the styles used by the English Renaissance craftsmen.
  • Settees: Settees are long chairs, usually for two people with soft padding and seat cushions.
  • Day beds: Day beds are long chairs having fixed as well as adjustable side cushions.
  • Stools and Benches: Settles were decorated with ornaments and often had high paneled rear and arms.
  • Tables: English Renaissance tables had permanent tops and gate legs.
  • Storage: Beautiful carvings and patterns adored chests and cupboards.
  • Beds: English craftsmen often carved boxed beds with precious fabric materials.

Renaissance Revival Furniture – Modern Day

Classics are always a hit in modern times, whether it is music or furniture. The design element of the 15th century European Renaissance revival furniture is still a popular culture in furniture style today. Renaissance style and design pattern are still evident in the world at present, and many artisans still follow the old and antique style of the European Renaissance in both furniture as well as architecture.

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