Latrobe, named Surveyor of the Public Buildings by Jefferson in 1803, not only made changes to the exterior of the White House but also designed furniture for it. He began his collaboration in 1809 with the new lady of the mansion, Dolley Madison, to decorate the Oval Drawing Room, today's Blue Room, in classical-revival style.
He based the 36 painted and gilded cane-seat chairs on the klismos--a chair of Greek design, the plans for which are in the upper left corner. He adapted the triclinium--a couch used by Romans for reclining at meals--for two sofas and four window seats, the plans for which are at the left.
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