In 1748 some peasants had found the first statues in Pompei, and after more excavations and discoveries the artistic world had the revelation of this civilization in its complete authenticity. The fashion for antiques is increasing.
If the Louis XIV and Louis XV styles were used to give the impression of a greater corporeity, Louis XVI stryle produces a pretty, light art endowed with a sober elegance, whose characteristics is its simplicity of lines.
The aspect of compositions is slightly severe and sober decorations are carried out following refined taste. It is the kingdom of rectangles with inset angles, decorated with rosettes.
The decorative elements are either country attributes (wringlings, bees, wicker baskets, hoes, sickles), sentimental attributes (hearts transfixed by an arrow, crowns of roses quivers, fired torches, birds) or art attributes (musical instruments, lyres, and so on). To all of them they add sticks decorated with spiral ribbons, perfume-burners letting out smoke puffs, pleated ribbons, radiated masks. Among the ancient decorative elements we mention pearls, ovoli, heart lines, pirouettes, grooved column shafts, heads of sheep.
The Louis XVI style is characterized by simplicity and the purity of lines, a greatly pronounced tendency towards symmetry, the whole attenuated by a very refined and seducing decoration.