The Bergere chair has had an evolution since its inception. The chair was coined as such in mid-eighteenth century Paris, where the model was developed from the late-seventeenth century chaise de commodite, a predecessor version of the chair “with ears.” It appeared first in Paris during the Regence (1715-23), then the chair continued on in history in a more architectural style in the Louis XVI rendition, then the Directoire followed and finally the French and American Empire styles emerged.
A bergere is an enclosed, upholstered French armchair (fauteuil) with a plush back and armrests. The wooden frame is exposed and may be molded or carved, painted or gilded. The wood typically comes from a beech, fruitwood, walnut or mahogany and is completed with a waxed finish. This chair is designed for lounging in comfort, although perhaps today is seen as more of a decorative item.
“The difference between the Parthenon and the World Trade Center, between a French wine glass and a German beer mug, between Bach and John Philip Sousa, between Sophocles and Shakespeare, between a bicycle and a horse, though explicable by historical moment, necessity, and destiny, is before all a difference of imagination.”