Directoire Style

Directoire Style

The Directoire style which developed from the Louis XVI style at the end of the 18th century was altogether a more austere and classical adaptation of Greek and Roman art. The name came from the political committee that controlled France, and the period lasted on five years, from 1795 to 1800. The cabinet maker Georges Jacob and the painter Jacques Louis David were considerable influences of the period. Interior decoration became much plainer, characterised by flat-toned plastered walls or fabric hangings with classical borders.

Directoire Style in brief:

  • Rectangular forms used - classicism continued;
  • Painted motifs;
  • Military motifs appear - lance, dagger, shield, drum;
  • Walls are of plain plaster painted in flat tones or treated with all-over pattern;
  • Printed cottons more in evidence.


Directoire Furniture

  • Dominant influence is Greek;
  • Delicate and slender;
  • Ormolu.



Directoire style colours featured a patriotic palette of red, white and blue, as well as deep green, violet, white and gold. Black and ivory on red, and light blue on dark blue, were typical combinations.



With regard to window treatments, symmetry began to be abandoned, but the general aspect was well balanced and without opulence, though it could appear rather hard-edged.



© Jonny Ricoh ; London Entrepreneurs 2024