17th century

The 17th century is sometimes known as the Baroque era.

The artistic idiom of the Renaissance, based on classical models, survived into the Baroque but gained a new expression with lively movement and sculptural forms. The principal ornamental motifs of the Baroque were acanthus vines and airy grotesques. The imagery is symbolic, referencing both classical mythology and the Bible.

The most fashionable piece of furniture was the cabinet, in which you could display your collection of artifacts and exotic things from faraway places. Possessing a fine collection in a fine cabinet was a mark of high status. But you had to be careful, because it was important not to live too extravagantly in the 17th century. Your home and clothes – your whole appearance, in fact – had to be completely appropriate to your class or aristocratic standing.


The ceremonial rituals developed at the court of Louis XIV in Paris and Versailles included the king rising and dressing in front of invited guests. The bedroom therefore assumed a key role as a place for receiving guests in upper-class homes. The custom of furnishing a showpiece bedroom spread to the palaces and manor houses of Sweden too.

Glass was an imported luxury in Sweden until the 17th century. The first Swedish glassworks began operating in 1556. A glassworks founded in Stockholm in 1676 eventually became known as Kungsholms glasbruk.



Nationalmuseum Design
@ Kulturhuset Stadsteatern
Sergels torg, Stockholm 

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