Panelling, indeed, was the chief resource (Plates 37, 38 B, 42, 43, 44 and. 46) by which the momentous item of wall treatment was compassed. Wood was the favourite and most universally satisfactory medium for this purpose and was used both in its natural state and likewise painted or painted and parcel gilt. When the natural wood was employed (Plate 37), it was frequently oak or light-coloured walnut, and its users had the sanity to let it alone and not smear it over with any artificial darkening mixture. Other natural woods than the two just mentioned also occurred.

When paint and gilt played a part in the scheme of decorative foundation, one favourite combination was white and gold, the flat surfaces being painted white and the mouldings and other carved projections gilt. White and gold, however, were by no means preponderantly in vogue. Colours were freely used (Plates 38 B, 40,41 and 42), either by themselves or in conjunction with gilding. As a rule the colour schemes, as judging from the social character of the times we might fancy they would be, were prevailingly light and gay - light green, citron, tender pink, green blues and blue greens, yellow or buff, light warm greys, fawns or putty tones and occasionally graining. Sometimes deeper tones were used, such as fairly dark blues or greens, sufficiently greyed, and the necessary lightening was supplied by a judicious addition of gilding.

Again, when wood was not used throughout for interior finish, the panels were often executed on canvas and then the canvasses were defined and held in place by wooden mouldings. Besides these media of execution, the panelling was sometimes wrought in plaster and then painted and gilt. In some cases, too, while the mouldings were of wood, the elaborate scroll, shell, leaf and other decorations were wrought in compo which, indeed, supplied a better base for gilding than wood, which had first to be gesso-coated before applying the gold leaf.

The panels were large and vertically oblong in their emphasis, extending all the way from a low dado to the cornice (Plates 40, 41, 42, and 44, Fig. 3). The width varied according to the exigencies of the room and the distribution of openings. Some of the panels were very narrow, others were fairly wide {Plates 40, 41 and 42). They were always spaced and balanced with a sense of symmetry despite the tendencies to irregularity elsewhere manifested.

These panels, notwithstanding all their "enrichment and complication," by force of sheer height acquired a value in vertical emphasis equal to that of the erstwhile conspicuous pilasters that had been suppressed. This process of flattening out or completely suppressing the major members of wall projections was consistently carried out in minor details. For one thing, the projections of all mouldings were substantially reduced (Plate 39 A and B), a marked departure from the practice of the Louis Quatorze style. Not only did the contours of all mouldings become appreciably flatter and slimmer, but all other projections likewise were radically modified; cornices (Plate 39 A and B) and pediments that had cast bold and vigorous shadows were replaced by "gentle coves (Plates 40, 41 and 42) and graceful volutes," sculpture in the round or trophies and emblems in high relief yielded precedence to paintings, while massive carven and moulded fruit and foliage swags and drops or similar features of imbricated laurel leaves were cast aside for "dainty wreaths of roses and fluttering ribbons." Everywhere the forces of flattening out and attenuation were simultaneously in operation with the dominant curvilinear force.

Attention has already been called to the general aversion from straight horizontal lines and the tendency to bound spaces "not by geometrical figures, but by a series of curves and to retain only their main vertical lines, while consoles and the pedestals were diversified by gentle swellings and taperings." In accordance with this all-prevalent impetus, the bottoms (Plates 40, 41, 42, 43, Figs. 7 and 8; 44, Fig. 3, and 47) as well as the tops of panels were often curved and broken, while "angles and junctions of all sorts were managed by means of scrolls, flourishes and other softening devices." It was quite the common thing for the only horizontally straight lines in a room to be the top of the dado below and the cornice at the top (Plates 40, 42 and 47), and sometimes the latter was encroached upon by flamboyant motifs (Plate 41) that climbed from the wall or sprawled over the ceiling. In the more exaggerated phases of the style, even the vertical bounding lines of the panels were not free from occasional curvilinear interference. Ordinarily, however, vertical boundaries of panels and of door and window openings were allowed to retain their customary emphasis modified only by curvilinear treatment at panel tops and bottoms or, perhaps, by small superposed interruptions in the forms of leafage or floral sprays or entwinements (Plate 38 A).

The curvilinear shaping at the tops and bottoms of panels, or above doors and windows, might be symmetrical (Plates 42, 43, Figs. 2, 4, 5 and 6; 44, Figs. 2 and 3, and 47), in such cases usually centring in a shell (Plate 43, Figs. 1 and 4) or some similar motif. Again, and this was peculiarly characteristic of the Rocaille episode, it might be altogether asymmetrical, depending upon adroitly counterposed flexures to convey to the eye a sustaining and satisfying ultimate sense of balance. Here, too, a centring was frequently made by a shell, a cartouche or a mascaron and the general treatment was apt to be somewhat flamboyant in the rapid action of its curves.

Before speaking specifically of the character of the decorative motifs customarily employed in Louis Quinze decoration, it seems advisable to say a word about the manner of distribution. In a period of such license and breaking away from all previous canons of restraint, it is not surprising that decorators should have given free rein to their fancy and indulged in the utmost exuberance. It often seemed as though a space left undecorated was abhorrent to them and that every space carried with it an obligation to lavish thereon some kind of ornament. If one may be permitted to paraphrase the advice of the bellicose old Irishman to his son who was about to set out for the Donnybrook Fair: "Mike, wherever you see a head, hit it!" one might say that the motto of the decorator of this epoch was, "Wherever you see a space, decorate it!" Not by any means all of the work of this period was thus decorated to excess. Some of the simpler things showed admirable restraint and reticence. The more elaborate creations, however, and especially during the Rocaille stage, often laboured under a redundancy of ornament.