ENFILADE: WEDNESDAY'S WORD OF THE WEEK
Ever wonder whether it's a Rococo or Régence? Louis XV or Louis Philippe? A Bergère or Fauteuil? Each week, we will highlight a word, term, or phrase to help identify antique furniture, periods, and styles.
en·fi·lade [en-fuh-leyd -lahd]
noun [en-fuh-leyd -lahd]
1. Architecture. an interconnected group of rooms arranged usually in a row with each room opening into the next.
2. Military. gunfire directed from a flanking position along the length of an enemy battle line.
verb (used with object), en·fi·lad·ed, en·fi·lad·ing.
1. Military. to attack with an enfilade.
Origin: 1695–1705; < French, from enfiler to thread on a string, pierce from end to end, enfilade, from Old French, to thread, from en- 'in, on' + fil 'thread'.
Palace of Versailles; The Grand Trianon Interior
The French word enfilade in architecture refers to a series of salons or rooms, formally aligned with one another, that provide a sweeping view through the entire suite of rooms. The enfilade served to organize space and vision and is a common feature found in many of France's grand palaces from the Baroque period. Royal palaces often had separate enfiladed state apartments for the King and Queen — state rooms would be lined up on one axis while private apartments would be on another. The homes of noblemen (especially when hoping for a visit from Louis himself) also feature enfiladed suites.
Musée du Louvre Hall of Paintings
Often used to move large numbers of people along in procession, the enfilade is a common arrangement in museums and art galleries for this very reason. Enfilade is the reason that Le Louvre in Paris, originally a palace erected by King Louis XIII, makes a magnificent museum.
An enfilade also refers to a piece of furniture, usually a buffet, in which the cabinet doors reveal connected compartments in a row. It is a long buffet and must have at least three or more cupboard doors. Enfilades add stature to a room with their length and the fact that many are tall.
French people often prefer the higher ones to the lower ones, and think nothing of serving off one that is over forty inches high. It's all about the look...not ease of use!
post originally appeared on Lolo's French Bloguette
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When this self-described Francophile is not reading or writing about all things French, she's dreaming up charming new ways to showcase Lolo French Antiques et More or traveling to France with Lolo to buy delightful treasures for their store. Mimi, Lolo, and their new French Bulldog, Duke, live in Birmingham, AL.