The order of things. The Palais Royal style (video)

Further to the video series narrating about 'The Order of Things' thematic exhibition, we will take a glance at everyday culture in the 19th century and its important component -- leisure time, as exemplified by the exhibited items.

The Palais Royal is an architectural complex in the center of Paris comprised of a square, a palace and a park. Originally, it was the palace of Cardinal Richelieu, later -- the residence of the Dukes of Orleans. Later the space became associated with wealth, opulence and sale of luxury goods.

You will out why this transformation took place, how the Palais Royal was transformed into a shopping and entertainment complex open to the public and who was the architect that designed the six- storeyed apartment buildings flanking the palace garden, with arcades on the ground floor, occupied by merchants and providers of various services by watching the video 'Order of Things: Palais Royal Style'.

From the late 18th century onwards, the roaring trade in small-scale luxury goods known as  «Palais Royal work « (the Palais Royal style) was rapidly developing. Stands and cases for jewellery, caskets, musical boxes, candlesticks, needlework sets, writing implements and so on were among those items. There were entire shops that sold such items made of mother-of-pearl and gilded bronze or brass.

The items presented at the exhibition “The Order of Things”  fully demonstrate the opulence and deliberate luxury that characterizes the Palais Royal aesthetics. For example, the Palais Royal style musical mystery clock with calendar (France, circa 1830); the Palais Royal style musical inkstand set, with the hinged lid, penholder and two inkwells (France, the 1820-1830s); the Palais Royal style musical necessaire, in multifaceted case with the hinged top lid and handles in the form of adjacent dog heads (France, circa 1815).

Thanks to the cultural influence that the Palais Royal had on art, shopping and gambling (several gambling establishments were housed in the complex), it is perceived on a much larger scale than one of the nobility residences, since it became a cultural phenomenon that influenced life in France and Europe as a whole.