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The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual--and the Modern Home Began (Anglais) Broché – 21 novembre 2013

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Book by DeJean Joan

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Amazon.com: 22 commentaires
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Philosophy of Furniture 12 décembre 2009
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
An excellent overview of a pivotal moment in the history of Western design, too often passed over and taken for granted as simply a change of 'style.' DeJean traces the evolving philosophy of design, which erupted into high modernism in the 20th century, by discussing the changing ideas of the home and how one should live in it. From this, we learn of a new idea of architecture, one that focuses on function, i.e., meeting the needs of its users, rather than merely impressing its viewers. The chapters provide an enormous wealth of material on the origins of much of what we hardly notice today, the "furniture of our everyday lives." Couches, sofas, easy chairs, toilets, night tables, mantels, mirrors - the full range of bric-a-brac and essential items is discussed: the evolution of the decorating "musts" and the formation of modern taste is described. Fascinating!
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Who is the audience? 3 octobre 2010
Par Robert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It is true that this book contains a tremendous amount of material, but it is extremely repetitive and, to some extent, limited. The author's constant references to Madame de Pompadouor and Monsieur Crousat leave the impression that these two individuals constitute the sole basis for most of her observations. I also wonder who the readership is supposed to be. If it is an academic public, I find the author's style tawdry - expressions like she "got away with murder" when referring to the excesses of Louis XIV's granddaughter are out of place. If, on the other hand, the author is aiming at a more general public, the book is overly detailed and, ultimately, boring. There was no need to write separate chapters on each different piece of furniture; combining them into a cohesive whole would have been much more interesting. But doing that would have required thoughtful editing which is totally lacking here. Finally, the last chapter on the body is superficial and leaves the impression that the author did not know how to end her study. As noted, throughout the book she (or her editor) allow the same thing to be said over and over again, for example the great actress who is described the same way at least ten times. This book was very disappointing. As another reviewer has noted, it is a collection of lecture notes carelessly cobbled together and not checked. I would recommend that you save your money and buy something else.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Pity Kindle edition omits all the colour plates 2 janvier 2014
Par Angela - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The text makes many references to the colour plates, unfortunately they aren't included in the Kindle edition. Some of the text is written on the assumption the reader will cross reference with the colour plates.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting and informative...but hard to target the audience! 30 octobre 2010
Par Suzi Hough - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is one of those books that I picked up because the topic seemed interesting. Did it find it to be so? Yes! But as I read it, I realized that there is no one in my life who would want to read this book and discuss the evolution of furniture with me. It's really hard to say who the intended audience for this book is. It's a little casual for serious historians, almost gossipy when DeJean confides that the granddaughter of King Louis XIV "got away with murder". But I can't say that the Average Joe is really all that interested in the many variations of `sofa' created by the French in the 17th and 18th century.

The overarching theme of the book is that as the idea of a `private' life became a greater part of daily living amongst the wealthy French, specialized rooms and furniture developed to help sustain it. Each chapter focuses on a different furniture item or room. There's a chapter, complete with multiple diagrams, about the flush toilet. Another talks about the boudoir, which was originally intended as a counterpart to a man's study - a place for a woman to relax and work on improving her mind - but quickly developed a reputation for other activities. Mini-biographies of some of the great innovators of the era - both the artists who designed the furniture and the patrons who paid for it - help provide greater context. There's a fair amount of repetition from one chapter to the next, making me wonder if this book was pulled together from lecture notes or a series of presentations.

This so-called `Age of Comfort' eventually spread throughout Europe, but DeJean concentrates almost exclusively on the contributions of the French. Granted, she's an author who specializes in French culture, but it would have been nice to hear a little more about what was happening in other countries. She mentions England a few times, but only to point out that they haven't gotten France's revolutionary ideas about comfort yet.

If you're interested in the beginnings of the art of interior design, this would be a good book for you to read. I liked it, and thought the book was pretty neat. It's a different way to look at the Rococo period of French art, architecture, and furniture design.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Paging an editor 5 novembre 2009
Par Aris399 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book has some great material. Unfortunately it seems to have been put hastily together from a series of lecture notes. No one bothered to give it chronological coherence, to eliminate repetitions or even to check the spelling (Mme de Pomadour????)
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