Decorative Furnishings and Objets dâ€™Art in the Louvre from LOUIS XIV
to M ARIE-A NTOINETTE
Decorative Furnishings and Objets dâ€™Art in the Louvre from Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette
Musée du Louvre Jean-Luc Martinez President-Director Hervé Barbaret General manager Jannic Durand Director, Department of Decorative Arts Vincent Pomarède Director, Mediation and cultural programming Laurence Castany Deputy manager, Production and publishing
This catalogue is published for the inauguration of new rooms on the second floor of the Cour Carrée for the display of the Department of Decorative Art’s eighteenth-century French collection
This catalogue has been made possible thanks to the generosity of GT Finance and support from Patrick A. Gerschel, Dalva Brothers, Inc., Mark Pigott KBE, Thierry Millerand and an anonymous donor, together with the collaboration of American Friends of the Louvre
The catalogue is printed on recycled paper made by Arjowiggins Graphic and distributed by Antalis.
Any partial or total reproduction of this publication for collective use is strictly forbidden without the publisher’s express consent (as codified in article 41, law of 11 March 1957, and French intellectual property law of 1 July 1992). Abusive and collective use of photocopying threatens the economical survival of the publishing industry. © Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2014 http://www.louvre.fr © Somogy Art Publishers, Paris, 2014 www.somogy.fr ISBN Musée du Louvre: 978-2-35031-485-3 ISBN Somogy: 978-2-7572-0603-4 Cover illustration: Musical “rhinoceros” clock, Paris, c. 1745-49 (cat. 93, detail) Copyright registration: May 2014
Decorative Furnishings and Objets d’Art in the Louvre from Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette
Edited by Jannic Durand, Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, Frédéric Dassas Assisted by Catherine Voiriot
Authored by Marc Bascou, Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, David Brouzet, Marie-Elsa Dantan, Frédéric Dassas, Calin Demetrescu, Cyril Duclos, Jannic Durand, Nicolas Fournery, Catherine Gougeon, Sophie Laroche, Stéphane Loire, Jean-Luc Martinez, Marie-Hélène de Ribou, Marie-Catherine Sahut, Guillaume Séret, Catherine Voiriot
The Louvre is grateful to all those generous patrons who made it possible to renovate the galleries devoted to eighteenth-century decorative arts: • Montres Breguet successive Presidents Nicolas G. Hayek (†) and Marc A. Hayek • The Louvre Atlanta Partnership A collaboration between the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, Georgia) and the Musée du Louvre (Paris) with support from Mrs. Anne Cox Chambers Accenture UPS, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Axa Art Insurance Corporation, The Sara Giles Moore Foundation • The Cercle Cressent du Louvre, chaired by Mrs. François Pinault Grand Patrons Mr. Michel David-Weill Mr. and Mrs. François Pinault Benefactors Gilbert and Rose Marie Chagoury Foundation Mrs. Paula Cussi Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Guerrand-Hermès Mr. Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Stavros Niarchos Foundation Edmond de Rothschild Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Bernard and Gonda Vergnes Donors Kering Mr. Daniel Thierry Friends Mr. Hervé Aaron Prince Amyn Aga Khan Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bailly Mrs. Jean-Paul Barbier-Mueller Mr. and Mrs. Juan de Beistegui Mrs. Ariane Dandois Mr. and Mrs. Alain Fayard Mrs. Florence Fesneau Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Gounelle Mr. François-Joseph Graf Mr. François Hemmelmann Mr. William Iselin Mr. and Mrs. Laurent Kraemer Mr. and Mrs. Olivier Kraemer Messrs. Nicolas and Alexis Kugel Comtesse Charles de La Bédoyère
Mr. and Mrs. François-Clément Lafon Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Lanvin Mr. and Mrs. Olivier Laurans Mr. François Léage Mrs. Pierre de Margerie Mrs. Micheline Maus Mr. Pierre-André Maus Comte and Comtesse Louis-Amédée de Moustier Mr. Bill Pallot Mr. Jean-Louis Remilleux Baronne Philippine de Rothschild Mr. and Mrs. Olivier Sanson Baron and Baronne Seillière Comte and Comtesse Louis-James de Viel Castel Comte and Comtesse Charles-André Walewski
•American Friends of the Louvre and its Cressent Circle John and Becca Cason Thrash Mike and Joan Kahn Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman Lionel and Ariane Sauvage Anonymous donor Christopher and Astrid Forbes Harry and Linda Fath San K. J. Lee American Friends of the Louvre would also like to thank Becca Cason Thrash, who coordinated the Liaisons au Louvre I and II fundraising events, and the American and international donors who participated in those events.
• La Société des Amis du Louvre chaired by Mr. Marc Fumaroli, and its two exceptional benefactors, Mr. Michel David-Weill and Mr.Yan Pei-Ming • Donors to the Hong Kong campaign coordinated by Mrs. Pansy Ho Benefactors MGM China Mrs. Pansy Ho Friends Chen Wai Wai Vivien Foundation Limited Paul Y. Engineering Group Limited Donors First Initiative Foundation, Michelle Ong Sabrina Chao Chinachem Group
• The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with the support of Cynthia Fry Gunn and John A. Gunn • Eni • Kinoshita Group • Patrons who offered support in kind Jacques Garcia, who masterminded the exhibition design Mathieu Lustrerie Maison Pierre Frey Paris Passementerie SEMA Ébénisterie Memorias d’épocas Doreur d’Art Maline Concept Bronzier d’Art Parquet W Veraseta Parquets Gal For their generous support the Louvre would also like to thank: Goldin Group, François Pinault Foundation, BNP Paribas, Société Européenne de Production, Trimaran, Christie’s Asia, Christie’s France, Château HautBrion, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Angélus, Château Lynch-Bages, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Château Rauzan-Ségla, Perrier-Jouët, Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa, Air France. The restoration of the cupola painted by Antoine-François Callet was made possible thanks to the generosity of Lionel and Ariane Sauvage, the Cercles des Mécènes du Louvre, Andy and Avery Barth, and Alex Bouzari, with the collaboration of American Friends of the Louvre. The conservation of the drawing room of the Château d’Abondant was made possible thanks to the support of the Sue Mengers Fund.
he sponsorship begun by my grandfather Nicolas G. Hayek in 2009 is now coming to fruition in 2014, providing visitors to the Louvre with much additional space to display treasures largely from the eighteenth century, that veritable golden age of decorative arts. The handsome chambers that once housed the Conseil d’État and the entire second floor of the north wing of the Cour Carrée have recovered their original splendor. I have followed this magnificent project with great interest since 2010, for it has called upon numerous artisans with skills that have been handed down from generation to generation—cabinetmaking, bronzework, gilding, upholstering, and art restoration—which inevitably calls to mind our Swiss valley watchmakers, themselves heirs and repositories of numerous skilled crafts. This patronage program has strengthened the links between the Breguet firm and the Louvre. Research into our archives revealed that Vivant Denon, the Louvre’s first “chief ” and the distant predecessor of Jean-Luc Martinez, owned a Breguet repeater watch as well as a biscuit-porcelain clock, purchased in 1810 and 1811, respectively; the Louvre, of course, has long had a vast collection of clocks and watches including very fine pieces by Breguet. But it was the exhibition held in 2009 at the initiative of Henri Loyrette, Breguet and the Louvre—An Apogee of European Watchmaking, that truly brought our two institutions together. My grandfather used to say that a firm like Breguet, in continuous business since 1775 in a field—watchmaking—where science and technology mingle with the decorative arts, is an integral part of European cultural heritage. Today I am proud to be at the helm of the company, and to contribute to the Louvre’s worldwide reputation through the opening of new rooms devoted to the decorative arts of the eighteenth century. Marc A. Hayek President & CEO, Montres Breguet
mong the many treasures housed in the Louvre—that epitome of a “universal” museum—is one of the finest collections of eighteenth-century decorative arts. From royal furniture to scientific instruments via precious metalwork, jewelry, porcelain, paintings, and tapestries, this unique collection represents every facet of French taste and skill. As the product of artists and designers who often excelled in several fields, the items on show recount, in their own way, the extraordinary blossoming of ideas, initiatives, and invent iveness that characterized the Age of Enlightenment. This peerless collection called for a worthy setting, which it has now received. Thanks to the talent of Jacques Garcia, to the expertise of highly skilled restorers, and to the unflagging commitment of the museum’s entire staff, the newly designed and expanded rooms displaying decorative arts of the eighteenth century provide an outstanding showcase for masterpieces by the artists and craftsmen who left a lasting mark on the history of arts and crafts. Individual items are brought back to life—magnificent and sublime— thanks to an exhibition design that simultaneously reflects the century’s diversity of expression, evolution of tastes, aesthetic coherence, and flawless standards of execution. For the first time, the new rooms make it possible to present priceless works previously confined to museum storerooms, such as the period woodwork restored for this occasion. The new display will finally offer museum-goers a unique and dazzling view of the refinement of French savoir-faire. This ambitious tribute to French history owes much to the initiative of Henri Loyrette and to the untiring efforts of Jean-Luc Martinez to bring it to completion. The new display of eighteenth-century decorative arts would never have seen the light of day without the support of countless art lovers and generous donors, notably members of the Cercle Cressent, which I have the honor to chair. I would like to thank them all for their involvement, their contributions, and above all for their loyalty to the French spirit that induces patrons and collectors alike to enrich our national heritage on a continual basis. Maryvonne Pinault President, Cercle Cressent
he eighteenth century was a prolific period of artistic creation in France. By the middle of the century, when the court had permanently vacated to Versailles, royal manufactories and workshops were organized in the Louvre itself, allowing the best artists of the period to work at their craft and heralding the dawn of the golden age for the French decorative arts. Since 2005, with the closure of the eighteenth-century galleries for refurbishment, American Friends of the Louvre (AFL) has worked to promote aware ness and raise funds for the Musée du Louvre’s new spaces that will hold its extraordinary collection of objets d’art and furniture from this important period. AFL, its board of directors, members, and supporters are deeply pleased to have exceeded our fund raising goal of $4 million for the renovation. With the outstanding organizational leadership of AFL Vice Chairman Becca Cason Thrash, a large portion of the funds were raised through the successful international galas, Liaisons au Louvre I and II. Additional funding was received through generous gifts from a number of individuals from across the United States. This outpouring of support perpetuates the long tradition of American appreciation and ongoing abutment of French art and culture. AFL’s campaign reinforced this dedication which is at the core of our mission to make the Louvre a more educational and enjoyable experience for all. The funds raised by AFL have been earmarked toward the restoration and display of a drawing room originally designed for the Villemaré residence, which stood at number 9 Place Vendôme–the most fashionable address in eighteenthcentury Paris. The room is a premiere example of interior design by Parisian workshops under the reign of Louis XV and will serve as a literal window into the elegant homes of the period. In addition to this stunning drawing room, AFL was also able to support the restoration and installation of a cupola painted in 1774 by Antoine François Callet for Louis Joseph de Bourbon, the Prince de Condé. It will be reinstalled at the heart of the new galleries, in a space dedicated to the neoclassical style. AFL is honored to have made the preservation and exhibition of these grand works of art possible. From early Americans such as Jefferson, Washington, and Morris (who succeeded Jefferson as the American representative in Paris) to the great philanthropists and collectors of the twentieth century including Vanderbilts, Gettys, Rockefellers and Wrightsmans, American Friends of the Louvre, and its members and donors, aim to continue our nation’s grand tradition of supporting the arts and in this case to help ensure that master works of French art and design are preserved and available for the enjoyment and the enrichment of millions of Louvre visitors for generations to come. It is therefore with great pleasure that we have participated in this worthy campaign and are thrilled to congratulate the Museum on the much anticipated re-opening of its eighteenthcentury decorative arts galleries. Christopher Forbes Chairman American Friends of the Louvre
he most unforgettable period within the long tradition of Parisian hegemony over the decorative arts (dating back at least as far as Richelieu’s ministry) was the reign of Louis XV, despite the authority Napoleon managed to impart to the taste for antiquity during his own reign. The subsequent fascination for French decorative arts of the eighteenth century, which began as early as the July Monarchy in 1830, was not limited to Europe but spread worldwide, extending to the United States, Latin America, and the Far East. One might view the invention of Art Deco as an attempt to successfully revive—in the modernist twentieth century and in every sphere of art—what has been called “a moment of grace in French art.” The substantial renovation of the Louvre’s galleries of eighteenth-century decorative art, begun over ten years ago, is therefore a major event. This series of rooms—elegant, varied, charming, spacious, comfortable—is destined to become, for the many visitors to the Louvre, one of most appealing of the museum’s many treasures. The Société des Amis du Louvre, now over one hundred years old, is proud to have contributed to the Louvre’s collection of eighteenth-century decorative arts on a constant basis. As early as 1907 we presented the museum with a silver-gilt porringer with cover and tray, made in the workshop of royal goldsmith Thomas Germain. Since I cannot indulge in an exhaustive list here, I will merely mention a few examples of our loyal support for the eighteenth-century collection in the Department of Decorative Arts, such as the 1933 purchase, in conjunction with Michel David-Weill’s grandfather, of a pot-à-oille tureen and tray, once part of the service that Catherine II of Russia ordered in Paris and presented to her lover and minister, Gregory Orloff, in 1772. Since then we have donated two other tureens to the department—one, back in 1994, made by Edme Pierre Balzac and formerly in the collection of the Duc de Penthièvre, and another, more recently, from the Walpole collection, made in 1726 by Nicolas Besnier. I might also mention the 1955 donation of a tea and chocolate service made by Henri-Nicolas Cousinet and owned by Queen Maria Leszczynska, and the 1994 gift of silver sugar casters chased by a Paris master and owned by the Duc de Bourbon. Our policy had always been to offer the Louvre outstanding items of decorative art. The restoration of the decorative art galleries, however, provided an opportunity to expand our patronage, and we therefore decided to fully finance the restoration of the Duc de Chevreuse’s ceremonial bedchamber. Two priceless donors affiliated with the Société, Michel David-Weill and Yan Pei-Ming, have made it possible to carry out this magnificent project. We have been delighted to discover similarly generous colleagues in the Cercle Cressent, the American Friends of the Louvre, and numerous private benefactors. The project was conducted under the supervision of remarkable curators—Daniel Alcouffe, Marc Bascou, and Jannic Durand— working closely with Jacques Garcia, a grand connoisseur of eighteenth-century taste, and with Michel Goutal, senior architect with France’s historic monuments commission. Our board of directors, accompanied by Michel David-Weill, closely followed the progress of this substantial undertaking. We never doubted that the outcome would meet our expectations and have a resounding impact throughout the world. Marc Fumaroli Member, Académie Française President, Société des Amis du Louvre
early ten years ago, on an evening in April 2005, the doors were closed to the rooms on the second floor of the Cour Carrée that had housed the Department of Decorative Arts’ collection of eighteenth-century furniture and objets d’art. This inevitable closure to the public was dictated by the need to bring obsolete facilities up to the level of new technical standards.Yet it also provided the opportunity to restructure these rooms completely, responding to new exhibition criteria aimed at a growing number of visitors from a most diverse variety of backgrounds. It also seemed like a natural extension of the overall transformation of the Palais du Louvre that began with the transfer to the museum of the former premises of the ministry of finance and the opening of the Pyramid in 1989, followed in 1993 and in 1999 by the inauguration of the Richelieu wing rooms. Carrying out this operation therefore took nearly ten years—or more, given that the first plans for renovation were proposed as early as 1995 by Daniel Alcouffe, then head of the Department of Decorative Arts. It was nevertheless Marc Bascou, Alcouffe’s successor from 2004 to 2013, who should be credited with entirely redesigning the overall project, assisted by his department, and from 2008 onward, thanks to the generous collaboration of Jacques Garcia, the exhibition design of the new rooms implemented by the museum with help from Michel Goutal, senior architect with France’s historic monuments commission, in charge of the Palais du Louvre. This book is therefore being published to coincide with the opening of the new rooms, marking a key moment in the history of the department and also of the museum itself. Over two thousand works representing one of the world’s finest collections of furniture and objets d’art from the reign of Louis XIV and the eighteenth century will finally be presented to the public once more, occupying over twenty thousand square feet of exhibition space. Furthermore, this volume stands to acknowledge the work of all those who, within and without the museum, have enabled this project to come to fruition. By featuring more than two hundred masterpieces from one of the most magnificent periods in the history of the decorative arts, this book also pays a heartfelt tribute to the many donors, who have made the collection what it is. Finally, the publication is dedicated to the many sponsors and patrons who have made complete renovation of the new rooms possible, and to whom the museum is deeply grateful. Jannic Durand Director, Department of Decorative Arts
Acknowledgments This book accompanies the opening of the new galleries of the Department of Decorative Arts. On this occasion, the department wishes to express its warmest thanks to all those who helped make this happen, starting of course with Henri Loyrette who, as President-Director of the Louvre, supported the renovation project right from the outset, and Jean-Luc Martinez, his successor, who has done everything to ensure its successful completion. The department also wishes to thank for their constant support Hervé Barbaret, the managing director of the museum, and his predecessor, Didier Selles, as well as Charlotte Lemoine, Deputy Managing Director, and Aline SyllaWalbaum, Catherine Sueur, and Claudia Ferrazzi, who occupied the function before her. The refurbishment of the new galleries dedicated to the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI could never have been carried out were it not for the great generosity of the patrons whose names appear at the front of this book, who supported the project right to the end and ensured the financing. Foremost among them are Montres Breguet and its president and CEO, Marc A. Hayek, the members of the Cressent Circle and its chair, Maryvonne Pinault, American Friends of the Louvre and its chairman, Christopher Forbes, and the Société des Amis du Louvre and its chairman, Marc Fumaroli. To them all, and to the many patrons who supported this project, in France and abroad, the department pays tribute and expresses its deepest gratitude. The overall project was conceived and passionately driven by Marc Bascou, director of the Department of Decorative Arts from 2004 to 2013, with the generous and active cooperation of Jacques Garcia. To them both, the department expresses its warmest gratitude. We also offer thanks to Michel Goutal, senior architect with France’s historic monuments commission, in charge of the Palais du Louvre, as acting architect on the project. One of the founding ideas of this project, a collective undertaking that took many years of work, was, wherever possible, to present the works in their historic and stylistic context. The Department of Decorative Arts therefore wishes to express its gratitude to the donors who, by their generosity, helped enrich the collections to this end: in addition to the Société des Amis du Louvre and its exceptional contribution to the acquisition of pots à oille (tureens) by Nicolas Besnier, we are grateful to Hubert de Givenchy, Nicole and Pierre Guénant, Patrick, Hubert, Jérôme, SimonXavier Guerrand-Hermès and Myriam GuerrandHermès Siegrist, Pierre Jourdan-Barry, Olivier, Laurent, Mikael and Sandra Kraemer, Paul Micio, Xavier Petitcol, Jean-Marie Rossi, Claude Sère (†), Benjamin Steinitz, and Jayne Wrightsman, as well as another generous donor who prefers to remain anonymous. We should also cite Christian and Nathalie Volle and Marie-Catherine Sahut for
a gift to the Department of Paintings that will take its place in the new galleries. Likewise, the department would like to express its warmest gratitude to the heads of the institutions who supported its work by agreeing to lend or place on permanent loan major objects for the new galleries: at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianons, Béatrix Saule; at the Musée du Château de Fontainebleau, Xavier Salmon and his successor Vincent Droguet; at the Musée National de la Renaissance Château d’Écouen, Thierry Crépin-Leblond; at the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, Éric Moinet; at the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, Olivier Gabet; at the Mobilier National, Bernard Schötter, general administrator, and Christiane Naffah and her predecessor, Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée; at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Olivier Faron, general administrator, and Serge Chambaud; at the Cité de la Musique, Laurent Bayle, managing director, and Éric de Visscher; at the Domaine Départemental de Sceaux, Dominique Brême. The Department of Decorative Arts also thanks the Conseil Général d’Indre-et-Loire and Julie Pellegrin, as well as the Société Archéologique de Touraine and its chairman,Yves Cogoluègnes, for their generous loans. The department is also extremely grateful to Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and to Luke Syson, director of the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, as well as to Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, for the long-term loan from the museum collections of two panels from the cabinet turc of the Comte d’Artois at Versailles, which most happily completed the ones owned by the Château de Versailles. The Department of Decorative Arts is also grateful to the sister departments at the Musée du Louvre that contributed to this project, and thanks their successive directors: at the Department of Prints and Drawings, Carel van Tuyll, and his successor, Xavier Salmon; at the Department of Paintings, Vincent Pomarède; at the Department of Sculptures, Geneviève BrescBautier and her successor Sophie Jugie, and finally, Françoise Gaultier at the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, along with all the collaborators there who played an active role in this project. The Department of Decorative Arts has also been touched by the generous welcome it has received from several historical residences in Paris in its efforts to recreate as exactly as possible the settings of the decorative objects in the new galleries. Its particular thanks go to the Hôtel de Saint-Florentin, Vivien P. Woofter, seconded by Candice Nancel; to the Conseil d’État, Isabelle Schwartz; to the Hôtel de Matignon, Richard Flahaut; to the Hôtel de Brienne, principal master Patrice Clémencet; to the Hôtel de Bourvalais, Christophe Bayard and Éric Bombardi; to the Hôtel de Mayenne, Michel Quinton, with the kind agreement of Jean-François Lagneau; at the Dangé residence, to the law firm of Clifford Chance, and Bertrand Germain and Louis Fournet-Fayard of Rolex SA; at the Maison Lelièvre, Rue du Mail,
Patrick Lelièvre, as well as Céline Mouzard and her team. Thanks also for their precious help to Michel Bourbon (†), Antoinette Brenet, Thérèse Brenet, Marc Court, Dominique Fernandès, Hervé Grandsart, Claude Landes, Jehanne Lazaj, Jocelyne Le Brenn, Pascale Le Cacheux, Blanche Legendre, Brigitte Le Guern, Viviane Luisetto¸ Audrey Mathieu, Joëlle Monlouis, Trudi Münzebrock (†), Régis Nacfaire de Saint Paulet, Frank Petit de Breuil, Sylvia Soleilhavoup, and the heirs of Michel and Robert Carlhian. The department also thanks the Manufacture Prelle, and Guillaume Verzier and Maryse Dussoulier for their sage advice and their time. And, finally, at the Château de Versailles, the department is pleased to express its gratitude to Pierre-Xavier Hans for his responsiveness and expert advice. The department is grateful to everyone at Agence Michel Goutal for managing the project, particularly François Drocourt and Marie-Laure Ludot. Likewise we thank our close collaborators on this adventure at the agency of Jacques Garcia: Philippe Jégou, Marina Niccolai, Antoine Panzani, Xavier Alnet, and Cédric Bidan. The department also has a special debt to Anne-Sophie Girard, who contributed to every stage of the project, first alongside Michel Goutal and then with Jacques Garcia, and whose friendly, determined support was never found wanting. In carrying out this project over nearly five years, the department benefited from the attentive and disinterested collaboration of Fabrice Ouziel, who is both an interior architect and a historian of pre-modern decoration. These pages are an opportunity to pay homage to his work and to express our gratitude. It would be impossible to say here just how much this project owes to his knowledge and his energy. Marie-Catherine Sahut, honorary chief curator at the Department of Paintings, contributed enthusiastically to every aspect concerning the choice of paintings for the new galleries, and the restoration and the installation of the cupola painting by Antoine-François Callet in the center of the Pavillon Marengo. The department would like to repeat all its gratitude and friendship, to her, and to Stéphane Loire who, for his part, followed every aspect of installing the painted ceiling from the Palazzo Pisani in Venice. Christophe Piccinelli, from the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, brought all his energy to the project of presenting the antiquities collections in the Salle Piranèse together with Jean-Luc Martinez and then Françoise Gaultier. The department is much in his debt. The department is also indebted to Françoise Mardrus, who followed the project most attentively from the outset and ensured that it ran smoothly, even at the most difficult moments. It offers her very sincere thanks for her amicable support. There are many men and women in the museum who were closely involved with the project in the ten years leading up to the reopening of the galleries. At the side of the President-Director, the friendship of Benoît de Saint-Chamas never failed
us. For all matters relating to institutional communication and patronage, now assembled in the Support for External Relations unit: Anne-Laure Béatrix, as well as Christophe Monin, former Director of Development and Patronage, Nathalie Cuisinier, Adel Ziane, Céline Dauvergne, Isabelle Deborne, Laurence Roussel, and, for patronage and partnerships, Axelle Baillet, Anne Demarque, Sophie Kammerer-Farant, Constance LombardFarhi, Éléonore Valais de Sibert, and Ina Giscard d’Estaing, Frédéric Le Coz, Krystyna Pieter, Claire Pigny, César Chemineau,Yukiko Kamijima, Julia de Rouvray, Asrar Yassin-Mohamed, Cécile Vaullerin, Amélie Strobel, Valentine DenjoySeillière, Françoise Bonnevialle, not forgetting the friendly help of Sabine de La Rochefoucauld and, at the start of the project, the precious assistance of Nathalie Brunel. At the Louvre Endowment Fund: Philippe Gaboriau, as well as Croisine Martin-Roland. In the financial and legal department, now Administrative Support: Pascal Perrault, as well as Valérie Game, Anca Ilutiu, Robin Kopp, Ève-Amélie Dolain-Proust, and Laurent Stragier. At Research and Collections Support: Brice Matthieu, as well as Anne de Wallens, Joëlle Le Roux, Bertrand Le Dantec, Anne Vincent, Margot Guillemard and Isabelle Vignon, and Avril Cassanas. At Human Resources: Jean-Luc Rousseau, as well as Maryvonne Buard, Jean-Luc Irollo, and Xavier Milan. At the Visitor Services Department: Serge Leduc, Christine Finance, as well as Vincent Baudet (†), Denis Fousse, Jean-Pierre Teyteau, Daniel Scripesac, and Jacques Mettoudi. We are also grateful to the Fire Prevention Service, to Captain Laurent Leclercq and the firefighters assigned to the museum. A special mention must also be made of the Information Technology Department, especially Bruno Zeitoun, Steve Quentin, Martine David, Anne Pfennig, and Sylvain Provost, who so often helped us, as well as Matthieu Canto for the multimedia displays. The project for the new galleries could never have been completed without the daily commitment of the project management team, and particularly its director, Cristina Haye, and the successive project managers, who played a decisive role: Cédric Martenot, Krishnaraj Danaradjou, and finally, Daniela Miccolis, who over the three years always responded with smiling efficiency, even amid the growing difficulties that beset the end of the project. The department expresses its warmest gratitude, with special thanks to Tifenn Guével-Commin, Catherine Calligeris, Laurent Ricard, Delphine Roelens, Eugenia Royo Bau, Hélène Boudin, and Olivier Ségissement, as well as Nathalia Denninger, Caroline Druet, Isabelle Muller, Valérie Nicoltzeff, and Voara Razafinjaka. Nor does the department forget its debt to the other teams of the Architectural Heritage and Gardens Department, now working with Sophie Lemonnier, and previously directed by Alain Boissonnet at the Architecture, Museography, and Technical Department, particularly Jean-Claude Riehl and Philippe Carreau at the Buildings Office and Gilles Berda at the Technical Office.
During the realization of the project, the department constantly benefited from the skills of the museum workshops. It expresses its deep gratitude to Vincent Pomarède and Sophie Lemonnier, to Michel Antonpietri and to Aline François-Colin, and to the successive heads of the workshops: Hervé Jarousseau and his predecessor Benoît Chalandard, and their respective assistants Michel Cugnet and Émilie Langlet. It would be impossible to fully detail all the work that was carried out by the museum’s craft teams. At the carpentry workshop, we are most grateful to Stéphane Fauvaux and his team: Loïc Chahory, Didier Boucheron, Stéphane Chadelat, Denis Duvignau, Camille Legendre, Jean Rochereau de la Sablière, and Lucas Frayssinet. Many of the settings are the result of exceptional work by the team at Éric Journée’s painting and decoration workshop, with Lionel Boutaillier, Guillaume Bartoux, Thierry Choquet, MarieHélène Delcayrou, Didier François, Vincent Gallancher, Stéphane Monpière, Nicolas Ruyter, and Julie Lacourieux. Hearty thanks also go to Didier Joaquim and his team at the tapestry workshop: David Belliard, Romain Danëns, Lionel Huck, and Perrine Cornuel, for their advice and sterling work. Max Dujardin and his teams in the framing-gilding workshop also brought their talents to the project, and we sincerely thank Béatrice Arbousset, Thierry Bourjot, Anne Dauvilliers-Tisot, Élisabeth Grosjean, Damien Lepage, and Oriane Moreau. We are also grateful to Jean Buard at the stonecutting workshop, and to his teams: Armel Barreda, Karine Croise, Katia Dreghi, Daniel Favard, Marielle Guiffard, Fabrice Ledant, Cédric Motte, Marc Tea, and Alex Zenon, for the care with which they handled some of the department’s finest pieces. The presentation of the most precious objects owes a great deal to the metal and artwork-mounting workshops. At the former, our very sincere thanks go to Jean-Louis Ruellan and the members of his team: Laurent Doumingos, Cyrille Colin, Didier Delos, Luc Franchette, Alix Lauba, Jean Noslen, Guillaume Valois; at the latter, to Pascal Goujet and his team: Jean-René Liénard, Romain Pastor, Stéphane Penaud, Philippe Sirop. At the museographical support workshop, we thank François Bernardini and his team, and particularly Ludovic Coquin for the attentive care he brought to the department’s silver collections, as well as Bruno David, Marie-Andrée Antonin, Sébastien Caisé, Éloi Chacelas, Sandra Crétin, Sandrine Droy, Éric Fontaine, Albert Ladjyn, Fabrice Lautru, Stéphane Legrand, Jacqueline Narou, and Philippe Outin. At the drawing-mounting workshop, we thank Marlène Vernet and her collaborators, Irène Julier and Dominique Boizot. The lighting workshop, with Sébastien Née and his team, was a vital support in conceiving and creating many displays. We are particularly grateful to Karim Ouffela and, with him, to Éric Chatenier, Karim Berrehouma, Kevin Bree, Sébastien Duboc, Ouhaid Kaïd, Tony Phirmis, and Rachid Slimani. The transportation and installation of the works was made possible thanks to the collaboration of
Alain Caisé and Richard Picouleau, at the transportation workshop, and to that of the hanging workshop, under the responsibility of Tony Abel and, before him, Valérie Decombas: JeanLouis Jasawant-Ghiraou, Jocelyn Abenaqui, Morgan Abenaqui, Victor Almeida Alves, Romain Armengaud, François Bignon, Marie-Clélie Dubois, Éric Cadendrier, Jeremy Carrasco, Vincent Crespel, Laurent Dhéron, Carlos Heleine, Stéphane Hervé, Anthony Lallouet, Denis Larue, Boris Nacinovic, Flavien Norca, William Spirito, Jean-Marc Voinot. For the planning of the Museum Works Service, we must also thank Cédric Breton, Soraya Kamano, and Franck Poitte. Patrick Compans, works leader, was a key interlocutor and nothing would have been possible without him. The department is happy to express its warm gratitude for his constant dedication. The department is also pleased to acknowledge its debt to several other figures in the museum who very generously gave their help, in particular Cristina Arlian, Matthieu Bard, Djamila Berri, Malika Berri, Inès Cabanne, Aline Cymbler, Martine Depagniat, Anne-Élisabeth Lusset, Christophe Personne, and Arnaud Trochet. The preparation of all the display material owes a great deal to the work of Marina Pia-Vitali and Sophie Hervet. For their help in matters of museography and signage, we are grateful in particular to Clio Karageorghis, Carol Manzano, Donato Di-Nunno, Véronique Koffel, Frédéric Poincelet, and the graphics workshop for the creation of the educational material provided to visitors in the galleries. The multimedia displays were carefully crafted by Noëmie Breen and Christina Kekicheff. In the audiovisual department, we wish to express our gratitude to Catherine Derosier-Pouchoux, Manon Luquet, and Valérie Coudin, as well as to Guillaume de Lestrange and Laurent Menec for the documentary on the restoration of the galleries, coproduced with the Société Européenne de Production Jean-Louis Rémilleux, the Musée du Louvre, and France 5. We are also grateful to the Service Images at the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, and to Panthéa Tchoupani and Karine Berthemet in particular. Finally, the Auditorium has organized several events to mark the opening of the new galleries, when it will be presenting the different facets of the project. We warmly thank Jean-Marc Terrasse, Monica Preti-Hamard, and Charlotte Chastel-Rousseau for their work preparing these events. Over the past few years, the restoration of the artworks has drawn on a considerable pool of talents. The departments’s warmest gratitude goes to the teams at the Centre de Recherche et de Restoration des Musées de France for their unfailing presence, led by Marie Lavandier, and her predecessor, Christiane Naffah, and the heads of the Restoration Department, Lorraine Mailho and her predecessor Béatrice Sarrazin. We enjoyed constant support from Agnès MathieuDaudé followed by Roberta Cortopassi, and Caroline Thomas, in the decorative arts section, and, in the painting section, from Isabelle
Cabillic, Odile Cortet, Pierre Curie, and Clarisse Delmas. Nothing would have been possible without the remarkable skill and dedication of our restorer colleagues: Marc-André Paulin, Frédéric Leblanc, Pascal Petit, and Helbertijn Titia Krudop at the carpentry workshop, Roland Février, Marie-Jeanne Dubois, Stéphanie Courtier, and Loïc Loussouam at the gilding workshop, Emmanuel Plé for metal, Frédéric Beauprêtre for tapestry. We also wish to thank for their collaboration Nathalie Balcar, Thierry Borel, David Bourgarit, Joëlle Crétin, Maria-Filomena Guerra, Manuel Leroux, and Dominique Robcis. Finally, for the restoration of the paintings, Catherine Vernochet (†), Marie-Ange Laudet-Kraft, Anne Lepage, and Jean-Pascal Viala The restoration of the department’s collection of woodwork represented a major challenge. We very sincerely thank all those who, in one way or another, made it possible to successfully complete this undertaking. The wooden paneling of the salon and the library-study of the Dangé residence and that of the ceremonial chamber of the Hôtel de Chevreuse were restored by groups led by the Ateliers de la Chapelle restoration workshop.This considerable task could not have been managed without the energy and experience of Pierre and Cécile Gilbert and their collaborators: Donatien Baron, Dominique Bienaimé, Éric Bouyer, Carine Carvalho, Clément Frouin, Xavier Melin, Patrice Morand, Julien Paillat, Julien Retailleau, and JeanBaptiste Rondard. The restoration of the paintings was undertaken by Arcoa. Our thanks go to JeanSylvain Fourquet, manager, to Ludovic Loreau, technical director, to Amparo Bartolomé, Darib Foued, works leader, and, with them, to Myriam Fillion, Marina Fouquet, Yves Grandsart, Sylvain Lhotelier, Lydie Patonnier, Pascale Roane, and Frédéric Zérounian. Restoration of the gilding was entrusted to Mariotti. We thank its director, Nicolas Mariotti, and his collaborators: Magalie Aubrun, Frédéric Bigand, Gwénaëlle Hayot, Antoine Mangeant, Matthias Muller, Caroline Skowron, and Laura-Jean Triolet. For the metalwork, we must thank Robert & Robert, and in particular David Robert, Emmanuel Robert, Claire Robert, and Benjamin Danjon, Jonathan Garnier, Jean-Baptiste Gallon, Vincent Touzé and Antonin Sorel. The delicate recreation of the plaster ornaments in the ceremonial chamber at the Hôtel de Chevreuse was entrusted to SOE Stuc & Staff. All our thanks go to its CEO, Bruno Rondet, to Pascal Montbrun, and to Zohair Djelassi for her passion for exactitude. Nothing would have been possible without the patience and drawings of Cécile Loignon, and the talent of sculptors Anne Nicolle and Aline-Christine Putot-Toupry and the latter’s assistant, Titi. Finally, we thank Gilles Charpentier, Gilles-Patrick Charbonnier, Lewis Brun, Léo Brun-Gillet, Sidonie Brutto, Geoffrey Chocat, Étienne Pallu, and Matthias Quenivet. We wish to express our great gratitude to the team that worked passionately with Jean Perfettini on the spectacular restoration of the wood paneling in the library study of the Dangé residence: Élisabeth Grall, Thierry Palanque, Delphine ÉlieLefebvre, Lise Havard, and Florent Dubost for the
joinery, Vincent Mouchez for the sculpture, Éléna Duprez, Aline Bérélowitsch, Laurent Blaise, Sylvie Dauvergne, Séverine François, MarieNoëlle Laurent, Gwenola Le Masson, and Jean de Seynes for the painting, Marie Dubost, Mélissa Albeza, Florence Labadie, Julie Laubreton, Isabelle Rehault for the gilding, Anne-Cécile Viseux for the metalwork, and Chantal Cerda, Henri Jumel, and Christian Teillard d’Eyry, who recreated the windows. The restoration of the cupola in the salon of the private apartments of the Palais Bourbon and of the ceiling of the Palais Pisani were a real challenge. We warmly thank Anthony Pontabry, who truly rose to the occasion, and his collaborators: Sabine Ruault-Paillard, Ludovic Roudet, Chantal Bureau, Benoît Dragon, Frankline Barres, Janin Bechstedt, Marie Begue, Xavier Beugnot, Luciana Bocca, Cornelia Cione, Laurence Didier, Stéphanie Doucet, Marielle Doyon-Crimail, Pascale Hafner, Catherine Huisse, Marie-Ange Laudet-Kraft, Alix Laveau, Émilie Lormee, Aurélie Robinet, Lucia Tranchino, Béatrice Villemin, as well as Alain Bondon, Alain-Mickaël Puren, Anne Chauvet, and Bertrand Leroy. Our thanks also go the many other restorers who guided us with their advice and who contributed their talent and experience to this project: Géraldine Albers, Béatrice Beillard, Laura Caru, Sabine Cherki, Véronique Deroubaix, Sarah Gonnet, Patricia Dupont, Thérèse Gentilucci, Olivier Lagarde, Gwenola Le Masson, Sylvain Luchetta, Marie-Emmanuelle Meyohas, Olivier Omnès, Julie Schöter, Olivier Tavoso, Bruno Szkotnicki, Antoinette Villa, Marc Voisot, as well as the houses of Arvaud, Lemerle Frères, and Chevallier Conservation, where we are particularly indebted to Montaine Bongrand and, with her, to Belmira Le Glatin, Flore Mayvial, Chantal Romao, and Tamara Stankievicz. Tribute must also be paid to the savoir-faire deployed by all the specialist companies, covering every trade, involved at different stages in building the new galleries. The lighting was conceived with the advice and expertise of the lighting and display specialist Éric Gall, whom we warmly thank, as, for the display cases, we thank Daniel Lorber, Elke Jäger and their team at Reier, as well as Jérôme Colin from Vitrine Avenue. For the carpentry entrusted to Les Ateliers de la Chapelle we are particularly grateful to Dominique Gilbert for his unfailing presence at our sides. There is not one of the new galleries that has not benefited in some way from his talent and dedication. We also thank Yves Gilbert, Romain Gilbert, workshop head Denis Gauthier, and Fabienne Ménard, as well as the cabinetmakers Yoann Bondu, Jérôme Boudet, Philippe Brunet, Christophe Canevet, Bernard Durance, Vincent Durand, Sébastien Guetté, Antoine Paré, Philippe Pineau, François Pithon, Bruno Riou, Pierre Vigneron, and the carpenters Pascal Cimic, Raphaël Jimenez, Fabrice Jeanot, and Jean-Michel Routhiau. Special thanks to draftsman Jérôme Brevet, who was never less than perfectionist in producing the working drawings.
At Staff Décoratif we thank Vincent Petit and, especially, Laurent Pons, Claire Deschamps, sculptor, and Thierry Bouhier for the perfect grace with which they adapted to the specificities of the project, as well as Frédéric Bigot, Laurent Dondelinger, Jérôme Fourdin, Antoine Lemeste, Nzembani Francisco, Jean-Pierre Tarantin, and sculptors Audrey Cricco, Pierre-Louis Dietchy, and Pierre Wagner. Regarding the preparation of fabrics and trimmings, we are grateful to all those who took such special care in this area: the house of Tassinari & Chatel, in particular Dominique Fabre and JeanLuc Lenoir-Grieser, as well as Carole Damour, Serge Moinier, Denis Boully and their team at the manufactory. At Declercq Passementiers: Jérôme Declercq, Élisa Declercq, Claire Barbleu, Abélina Morino, as well as Olivier Alexandre, Corinne Comaille, Stéphane Ledoux, Ilaria Macocco, Dominique Monvoisin, Christophe Poulain, Isabelle Rachel. At L’Atelier des Carmes: Bruno Brocard for his constant responsiveness, Charlotte Brocard, as well as Claire Baraza, Jean-Michel Denis, Daniel Dexet, Arnaud Gillet, Thi Tuyet Dung Nguyen, Claire Zalewski. At Ateliers Polybe & Malet: Étienne Polybe, Alice Malet, Guy Malet and Marc Jarousseau, as well as François Ballouard, Émilia Battut, Laeticia Delalande, Julie Dugué, Myriam Girier, Vincent Illanes, Pauline Paget, Mariline Ribault, Johanna Sarrauton. Finally, we thank Michel Chauveau and Sébastien Ragueneau for their precious advice as the project progressed and, with them, Stéphanie Becker, Rémi Broissand, Arnaud Caradec, Julia Modest, Isabelle Pers-Fargeas, Noémie Salvato, and Lucie Vincent. For the painting work, carried out by Duval & Mauler, we thank Julien Facon, Pierre Voisin, Jean Estieux, and, especially, Sergio Gago and Hassan Bouadma, as well as Mohamed Chacroune, Jérémie Chripko, Candido Fernando, Patrick Gobourg, Lassaad Hajji, Mamoud Hassaneine, Olivier Pineau, Georges Podik. For the decorative painting and false marbling, we thank Atelier Eschlimann, Christophe Eschlimann, Marie Vanesse, as well as Raphaëlle Beltoise, Alicia Haran, Julien Labarre, Martin Labouré, Roxanne de La Richerie, and Candice Soulard. We also thank everyone in the other firms and companies who helped carry through this project: Jean-Yves Bruchausen, Gilbert Margueritte, Felipe Tavares, and José Benvenido Lopès de Oliveira, as well as Geraldino Mota and José Queijo at DBPM-Marbre; Daniel Venisse, Éric Banse, Hervé Chiraux, and Georges Guilbert at Les Parquets Briatte; Jérôme Gendre and his teams; Patrick Ribeiro, Catherine Pekovits, Marie Petit, Huayra Lanque, François Ourth, Vincent Guilbault, Amandine Merminot, and Maud Discors at Version Bronze; Agnès Nitsch at the Golden Leaves studio; David Mercier, Vincent Millérioux, Richard Jouanny for Fontelec; David Fourcade and Nicolas Jobard for Cegelec; Patrick Laronce of the Socotec inspection agency; Édouard Chagot for Opteor; Isabelle Gonnard of Coordination Santé Sécurité; Pascal Martin at
GESOP; Édouard Meyvial and Solenn Péquin at SETEC; Lylian Brevet and Abdellah Dahmoni at Challencin; Patrick Wade at Dupont Kine. Finally, for transport of art objects; at LP Art: Gwenaël Rimaud, Nicolas de Tudert, Aude Raveleau, Chun N’go, Claude Noble, Thierry Dieudonnat, Philippe Perot, Dominique Puntarik, Hervé Thouroude, Beaudouin Yake, Julien Lecoq, and Marie-Cécile Roques. Not forgetting Omain Menguy and Bogdan Racolta at LPPDS. Finally, the publishers of this book, joined by Catherine Voiriot-Bonnet, would like to thank all those who helped make it a reality: not only the authors who contributed texts, but also all those who played an active role in producing it, especially Violaine Bouvet-Lanselle, Laurence Castany, Fanny Meurisse, and Fabrice Douar, who compiled the index, and Camille Sourisse, responsible for the Album. It is hard to imagine this publication taking shape without the energy, kindness, and serenity of the editorial coordinator, Christine Fuzeau. We send her our warmest thanks and gratitude. We must also acclaim the considerable work undertaken by the translators, to whom visitors owe the English edition of the book, and the efficient collaboration of the documentary and editorial resources department, and especially Anne-Laure Charrier-Ranoux, for providing financial support for the photography, and her successor there, Anne-Myrtille Renoux, as well as Céline Rebière-Plé, Gabrielle Baratella, Chrystel Martin, Clémence Georgin, and Flavie Grandet. Warm thanks also go to Antoine Mongodin, who, with his photographer’s eye, recorded a veritable chronicle in images of the reinstallation of the collections, and for the photographs of the works illustrating this publication: Martine Beck-Coppola, Jean-Gilles Berizzi (†), Raphaël Chipault, and Benjamin Soligny, Thierry Ollivier, Olivier Ouadah, Stéphane Maréchalle, Mathieu Rabeau, Philippe Sébert, and Roger Basille, not forgetting the essential role played by Catherine Bossis at the Agence Photographique de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux. Our warmest thanks also go to Éditions Somogy, particularly to Nicolas Neumann, and to Ariane Aubert, Béatrice Bourgerie, Michel Brousset, Frédérique Cassegrain, Sarah Houssin-Dreyfus, Édith Lecherbonnier, and Mélanie Le Gros, nor forgetting Marion Lacroix, Anne Chapoutot and Susan Schneider for their attentive copyediting. The editors and authors of this book also thank the many colleagues, researchers, and friends, in France and beyond, who so generously helped them: Shirin Akiner, Daniel Alcouffe, Sébastien Allard, Pierre Arrizoli-Clémentel, Murielle Barbier, Jacques Bastian, Pierre Bonnaure, Christian Baulez, Mechthild Baumeister, David Beasley, Bruno Bédaride, Rufus Bird, Alice Bleuzen, Stéphane Boiron, Lesley Bone, Xavier Bonnet, Christian Bonnin, Chantal Bor, Yves Carlier, Bernard Causse, Marine de Cénival, Guillaume Cerutti, Martin Chapman, Régine Pierre-Chollet, Isabelle Compin (†),Olivier
Delahaye, Virginie Desrante, Bertrand Dumont, Cécile Dupont-Logié, Maximilien Durand, Bertrand du Vignaud, Jérôme Farigoule, Guillaume Faroult, Antoinette Faÿ-Hallé, Guillaume Fonkenell, Camille de Foresta, Robert Fohr, Anne Forray-Carlier, Élisabeth FoucartWalter, François Farges, Christoph Frank, Brigitte Gallini, Anne-Claire Garbe, Guillaume Garcia, Nicole Garnier-Pelle, Jean-Jacques Gautier, Audrey Gay-Mazuel, Christine Germain-Donnat, Philippa Glanville, Jean Gismondi, Adrien Goetz, Catherine Granger, Hélène Grollemund, Harold Hessel, Marie Janton, Guillaume Kientz, Jacques Klotz, Monika Kopplin, Alexis Kugel, Nicolas Kugel, Thierry de Lachaise, Hervé Lacombe, Geneviève Lagardère, Thierry Lalande, Christine Laloue, Hervé de La Verrie, David Langeois, Alexia Lebeurre, Mélanie Lebret, Camille Le Filleul des Guerrots, Sylvie Legrand-Rossi, Agnès Léger, Isabelle le Masne de Chermont, Patrick Leperlier, Camille Leprince, Martin Levy, Étienne Lucas de Couville, Gérard Mabille, Carl Magnusson, Thierry Maniguet, Olivier Meslay, Nicolas Milovanovic, Thierry Mulette, Guillaume Nahon, Alexander Nesta, Michael Pantazzi, Céline Paul, Christophe Perlès, Jean-Jacques Petit, Nicolas Petit, Maud Pionchon, Emmanuelle Polack, Alexandre Pradère, Christophe de Quénétain, Tamara Rappé, Patrick Rocca, MarieLaure de Rochebrune, Bertrand Rondot, Anne Roquebert, Pierre Rosenberg, Jean-Paul SaintAubin, Marie-Pierre Salé, Jean-Pierre Samoyault, Maria Santangelo, Thierry Sarmant, Carolyn Sargentson, Guilhem Scherf, Lorenz Seelig, Regina Seelig, Chantal Soudée-Lacombe, Isabelle Taillebourg, Jean-Christophe Ton-That, Pascal Torres-Guardiola, Dominique Vandecasteele, Michel Vandeermersch, Charlotte Vignon, Jean Vittet, Nathalie Volle, Noémie Wansart, Christel Winling, and Nicole Willk. Finally, many demands were made on the members of the Department of Decorative Arts over all these years as a result of the renovation of the galleries, from the initial move of the collections to their reinstallation in the new spaces.The department’s technical services played a major role in this vast migration of art objects, for which we are sincerely grateful to Laurent Creuzet and Carole Treton. The kind support of our colleagues Élisabeth Antoine, Françoise Barbe, Agnès Bos, Anne Dion, and Philippe Malgouyres was a source of much daily comfort. We also thank Marie-Cécile Bardoz, David Brouzet, a new arrival at the Registrar’s Office, Christine Chabod, Brigitte Ducrot, Dorota Giovannoni, and Anne-Gabrielle Durand, who was particularly attentive in monitoring the successive photography sessions. Anne-Élisabeth Abiven and Bako Rajaona were both precious collaborators, as was the energetic Fatiha Mihoubi at the secretariat, and also Cécile de La Porte. Special thanks go to Béatrice Coullaré, whose personal commitment was essential throughout this enterprise, and Catherine Gougeon, particularly for her unstinting care in implementation of the multimedia program, and to Marie-Hélène
de Ribou, for her unfailing assistance from the start of the project, and to Marie-Elsa Dantan, assisted for a while by Anne-Laure Seguin, for her precious collaboration, notably on the logistical preparation and implementation of the project, and to Catherine Voiriot-Bonnet for her help and active collaboration on this publication. Nor should we forget the many interns who, at one moment or another, contributed voluntarily to the project: Nada Al Ameri, Alizzandra Baldenebro, Pierre-Olivier Benech, Camille Chapelle, Clara Chasles, Sonia Coman, JeanBaptiste Corne, Lisa Denis, Edwige Eichenlaub, Florentin Gobier, Philippe Halbert, Tatiana Hairy, Victor Hundsbuckler, Gersande Kruzik, Alexandre Lafore, Solaine Laine, Pierre-Louis Lefever, Victoria Le Guern, Juliette Lytovchenko, Elsa Marcot, Damien Messager, Bertrand Mothes, Alexandre Mordret-Isambert, Charlotte Pagnier, Astrid de Peufeilhoux, Karl Pineau, Vincent Poulain, Caroline Ragot, Geoffrey Ripert, Paul de Roquefeuil, Alexandra Rothenberger, MarieMarguerite Roy, Étienne Tornier, Jérémie Tortil, Delphine Vire, and Ingrid Wacheux. Lastly, the director of the department would like to express his deepest and warmest gratitude to Michèle Bimbenet-Privat and Frédéric Dassas for having inspired and sustained this project alongside Marc Bascou right up to its completion. Let us hope that large numbers of visitors will do justice to their tremendous work and that of all the other participants in this project. Sadly, it is likely that other names will have been omitted here. We hope they will forgive us. Naturally, these involuntary absentees are included among all those to whom we address our very warm thanks.
Marc Bascou (M B)
Nicolas Fournery (N F)
Honorary director, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Catherine Gougeon (C G) Michèle Bimbenet-Privat (M BP) Senior curator, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Scientific information specialist Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Sophie Laroche (S L) Curator
David Brouzet (D B) Technical and scientific conservation associate, Department for inventorying collections Musée du Louvre, Paris
Stéphane Loire (St L) Senior curator, Department of Paintings Musée du Louvre, Paris
Marie-Elsa Dantan (ME D) Researcher, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Jean-Luc Martinez (JL M) President-Director, Musée du Louvre
Frédéric Dassas (F D)
Marie-Hélène de Ribou (MH R)
Senior curator, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Research secretary, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Marie-Catherine Sahut (MC S) Calin Demetrescu (C D) Art historian
Honorary senior curator, Department of Paintings Musée du Louvre, Paris
Cyril Duclos (Cy D)
Guillaume Séret (G S)
Jannic Durand (J D)
Catherine Voiriot (C V)
Principal curator and director, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Scientific information specialist, Department of Decorative Arts Musée du Louvre, Paris
Contents Introduction Jannic Durand
The Decorative Spirit Frédéric Dassas
catalogue FROM LOUIS XIV’S PERSONAL REIGN TO THE RÉGENCE PERIOD, 1661-1723 110
entries 1 to 62 THE ROCOCO YEARS, 1720-60 220
entries 63 to 146 THE NEOCLASSICAL TREND, 1760-92 366
entries 147 to 231
appendices Bibliography 521
Index of personal names 533
Table of Catalogue and Inventory Numbers 547
Fig. 1. Hubert Robert, Project for the Transformation of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre, 1796. MusĂŠe du Louvre, RF 1975-10
Introduction JANNIC DURAND
see entry 214
see entry 12
The museum of arts that was installed in the Louvre and opened to the public during the French Revolution included not only large modern decorative vases of marble and other stone vases with gilt-bronze mounts, but also clocks and decorative bronzework. Several of them had been purchased by Louis XVI during his reign for a future museum that he hoped to set up in the Louvre. Such was notably the case with a monumental vase of Sèvres porcelain by sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot, adorned with gilt-bronze mounts by Pierre-Philippe Thomire, bought at the time it was made in 1783. Other items confiscated by the revolutionaries from aristocrats who had emigrated from France were added to the collection in the Louvre’s Grande Galerie. These items were usually dotted along the walls, as seen in numerous drawings and paintings (fig. 1). By 1796, most of the Crown’s collection of stone vases and bronzes, stored in the Garde Meuble (furniture depository), had been assigned to the new museum. The vases, largely acquired during the reign of Louis XIV, are now on display in the Apollo Gallery, whereas the bronzework, which constituted the initial core of the museum’s Renaissance bronzes, included a few pieces from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Unfortunately, several bronzes were later disposed of, while others were chosen to decorate official buildings and residences under Napoleon I. Such was the case with the famous “Algardi andiron” (fig. 2) depicting Jupiter Victorious Over the Titans, cast in France in the seventeenth century from a design by Alessandro Algardi: assigned to the Louvre in 1795, sent to the Château de Saint-Cloud by 1802, it later decorated the Tuileries Palace, only returning to the Louvre’s Apollo Gallery in the nineteenth century (fig. 3). Today it can be seen in the first of the new rooms, perched on the round “Fouquet” table.
Fig. 2. JupiterVictorious Over the Titans, after a design by Alessandro Algardi. Musée du Louvre, MR 3262
decorative furnishings and objets d’art in the louvre from louis xiv to marie-antoinette
Fig. 3. Victor Duval (attributed to), View of the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre, Overlooking the Seine, c. 1875. Musée du Louvre, RF 2003-2
In contrast, at that time the Louvre did not own any “furniture” in the strict sense of the term.Those pieces assigned to the museum between 1793 and 1796—of royal provenance or confiscated from émigrés—soon left again to furnish government buildings during the Consulate and Empire periods. Notable exceptions were the “Fouquet” table mentioned above and a cabinet owned by the stadtholders of Holland, made in a seventeenth-century Augsburg workshop and acquired during the French conquest of the Low Countries in 1795. The first half of the nineteenth century and the Second Empire were marked by the Louvre’s acquisition of entire collections of decorative objects from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Durand, 1825 ; Révoil, 1828 ; Sauvageot, 1856 ; Campana, 1862), as well as, in 1830, the treasury of the Order of
the Holy Spirit. However, no real interest was shown in furniture, bronzework, tapestries, and carpets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, nor in precious metalwork or porcelain from that period, except for a few pieces of faience tangentially associated with an already substantial collection of maiolica. Things changed radically in 1870 when the Garde Meuble made its first transfer of items to the Louvre. Just a few days after the Second Empire fell, the museum was assigned possession of furniture and decorative objects from the Tuileries Palace and Château de Saint-Cloud, both of which would be burned down shortly afterward. This felicitous decision resulted in the rescue of a unique set of Boulle furniture, part of which was given refuge in the Apollo Gallery (fig. 4), as well as bronze fixtures
see entries 35, 36
see entries 14, 16, 18 to 21 see entries 32, 89, 184
Fig. 4. Victor Duval, View of the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre, 1874. Musée du Louvre, RF 1993-15
see entries 172, 201 to 204
and vases with gilt-bronze mounts, not to mention the famous writing desk made by Adam Weisweiler for Marie-Antoinette and several other objects from the queen’s collection. This initiative reflected a new sense of awareness, probably prompted by nostalgia for the eighteenth century as embodied by, among others, the Goncourt brothers. The first transfer was followed thirty years later by a second, larger one, in the wake of the Universal Exposition of 1900. Émile Molinier, head curator of the museum’s Department of Decorative Arts, played a key role in the affair by obtaining, in February 1901, a government decree that assigned to the Louvre all the furniture that had featured in the Retrospective Exhibition of French Art. This dazzling display included, in particular, tapestries, carpets, veneered
and inlaid furniture, other types of fine furniture, and bronzework, which traced, for the first time, the evolution in styles from the reign of Louis XIV to the start of the Revolution. The 1901 consignment immediately obliged the Louvre to open rooms to display its collection of furniture and decorative arts from that period, which in the meantime had grown with pieces of faience acquired through donation or, more rarely, purchase, such as the large Four Seasons from Rouen, in 1882. The rooms opened in May 1901, occupying the northern end of the former premises of the Conseil d’État on the second floor of the west wing of the Cour Carrée (fig. 5). The display prompted further donations. The bequest made by Comte Isaac de Camondo in 1911 included Impressionist paintings
see entry 47
decorative furnishings and objets d’art in the louvre from louis xiv to marie-antoinette
Fig. 5. View of the Conseil d’État chambers, opened in 1901, photograph. Decorative Arts archive, Musée du Louvre
Fig. 6. Rooms displaying the Isaac de Camondo bequest, third floor of the Mollien wing, 1914. Aulanier collection no. 2249, Musée du Louvre 22
see entries 38, 46, 49, 79, 103, 105, 109
see entries 198, 142, 220 see entries 143, 225, 228, 222, 227, 230, 231, 140, 221
see entries 145, 146, 226 see entries 2, 70, 97, 178 see entry 101
and Far Eastern art alongside eighteenth-century furnishings, and was displayed in eight rooms of the Mollien wing, lined with wood paneling that partly came from the former Villemaré-Dangé residence on Place Vendôme, assigned to the Louvre in 1898 by the Administration des Domaines (fig. 6). Meanwhile, Baron Basile de Schlichting’s 1914 bequest not only included furniture and bronzework but also enriched the Louvre’s collection of snuffboxes and other gold boxes, the original core of which dated back to the Lenoir bequest of 1874 and later grew with a 1922 bequest by Baronne Salomon de Rothschild and a gift by Georges Heine. Similarly, the Louvre’s collection of watches is based largely on bequests by Paul Garnier in 1916 and MarieJulie Olivier in 1935. Finally, additional acquisitions came from further transfers by the Mobilier National and a few purchases, such as andirons by François-Thomas Germain, which in 1935 represented one of the department’s first outright expenditures for an eighteenth-century item.
By the 1930s these substantial additions called for a new display of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts.The grand plan for reorganizing the Louvre, launched back in 1927 by Henri Verne, head of the French museum administration, suggested installing this collection in the north wing of the Cour Carrée, in a continuation of the rooms devoted to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance on the second floor of the east wing, which opened in 1938. But World War Two put a prolonged halt to that project, which was revised and then carried out from 1962 to 1966 by Pierre Verlet, head of the Department of Decorative Arts at the time. These rooms (figs. 7-9), which many of us recall, were shut in 2005. Verlet skillfully exploited existing walls and partitions. In conjunction with Olivier Lahalle, a senior national-heritage architect, he devised a chronological display punctuated with monographic sections devoted to the greatest cabinetmakers of their day—Boulle, Oeben, Carlin, Riesener—completed
Fig. 7. The “Louis XV gallery” in 1962. Decorative Arts archive, Musée du Louvre 23
decorative furnishings and objets d’art in the louvre from louis xiv to marie-antoinette
Fig. 8. The “porcelain room” in 1962. Decorative Arts archive, Musée du Louvre
see entries 5, 8, 33, 34, 93, 96, 177, 189, 190, 192
see entry 66
see entry 6
by showcases arranged by technique: faience, porcelain, silver, clockmaking, and jewelry. A few items of furniture and bronzework were also placed in historical decorative settings such as the library-study or “porcelain room” of the Dangé residence (fig. 8), the neoclassical wood paneling of the ceremonial bedchamber in the Chevreuse residence, bequeathed by Madame Pierre Lebaudy, or the “Chinese study” whose walls featured panels of fragile chinoiserie wallpaper interspersed with mirrors (fig. 9). The collection continued to grow apace. In 1973 René Grog and his wife, Madame Grog-Carven, made a deed of gift for a peerless set of tapestries, furniture, and bronzework that instantly enriched the collection and filled some existing gaps, notably in terms of neoclassical furniture. Other generous gifts lent further sparkle, such as the complete wood paneling and matching furniture from the drawing room of the Château d’Abondant, donated by Laboratoire Lafon in 1989, and the gold-threaded tapestries showing The Emblems of the Navy, woven for Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, donated by Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury in 2000. The
ongoing generosity of donors also made it possible to explore some hitherto overlooked realms: the museum’s almost total lack of eighteenth-century precious metalwork was remedied by a 1946 gift from the David-Weills, later complemented by a 1955 deed of gift from Stavros Niarchos for several pieces from the former Louis-Victor Puiforcat collection, all the more precious in that most French silverware from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had been melted down. In 1979, Madame Nicolas Landau gave the museum a collection of scientific instruments, of which the Louvre had almost none. With respect to precious metalwork from the eighteenth-century, it is worth stressing the key role played the Société des Amis du Louvre, which has demonstrated its generosity toward the Department of Decorative Arts ever since the association was founded. Its efforts in the past fifty years, although covering all fields, have notably focused on French royal and aristocratic pieces of precious metalwork. It provided not only the basin from a toilette set owned by the Duchesse d’Orléans and a tea and chocolate service that Louis XV presented to Queen Maria Leszczynska when she gave birth to the heir to the throne, but also two extraordinary sugar casters in the form of slaves, owned by the Duc de Bourbon, and a porringer with cover and tray belonging to Portuguese cardinal João da Motta e Silva, not forgetting a pair of tureens made by Pierre Balzac and once part of the famous Penthièvre-Orléans service. The Société des Amis du Louvre has honored the department again this very year, 2014, with a gift of one of the two tureens from the Walpole service, outstanding examples of Paris metalwork in the years 1726–27 and more particularly of the masterful art of goldsmith Nicolas Besnier (fig. 11). When it comes to porcelain, gifts by the Thiers in 1880, Baronne Salomon de Rothschild in 1922, followed by Georges Heine and Comte Anne-Jules de Noailles, paved the way for a collection of works from Meissen, Sinceny,Vincennes, Sèvres, and Chantilly. It was not until 1965, however, that a systematic policy of acquisition brought the Louvre up to international standards in this field, in particular concerning large decorative vases of Sèvres porcelain. This policy is
see entries 130, 132, 133 see entry 134
see entry 95
see entries 58, 127, 130, 131, 133
see entries 91, 90, 110, 111, 112, 115, 116, 122
see entries 124 to 126, 206 to 209
see entry 73 see entry 86
see entry 205 see entry 135 see entry 77 see entry 234 see entry 57
see entry 170 see entries 28, 69, 31, 78, 124, 136, 159, 162, 168, 170, 191, 217
just part of a series of particularly brilliant purchases executed over the past fifty years in all sectors of the eighteenth-century collection, many of them made thanks to the determination of Daniel Alcouffe: a pair of armoires by Charles Cressent, acquired in 1974, gilded wood chairs by Nicolas Heurtaut, purchased in 1975, a gold and agate cassolette, or incense brazier, owned by Queen Marie Antoinette, bought in 1982, a dish cover and pair of candelabra owned by King Joseph I of Portugal, in 1982 and 1984, a commode with Japanese lacquer owned by Queen Maria Leszczynska, acquired in 1988, a snuffbox decorated with a miniature of the Château de La Ferté-Vidame, bought in 1999, and a tea service owned by the Duc d’Orléans, purchased in 2007, to name just a few of the more dazzling acquisitions. Finally, from 1972 onward the department’s collection has been enriched by gifts made in lieu of estate taxes, including some striking items. The first was a bureau plat, or writing table, with Japanese lacquer panels, made by Martin Carlin for Madame Victoire. It was followed by fortunate gifts related to all spheres of eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts. For example, a commode with European japanning delivered to Louis XV’s favorite, Madame
Fig. 9. The “Chinese room” prior to closure in 2005
de Mailly, was reunited with its matching corner cupboard, which had been donated by Richard Peñard y Fernández back in 1951; similarly, several items featuring plaques of porcelain, including a famous commode owned by Madame du Barry, joined a table en chiffonière bequeathed by Francis Guérault in 1930, which had previously been the Louvre’s sole illustration of this original and fascinating episode in the history of taste. The museum’s range of furniture and gilt-bronze furnishings has thus grown considerably since the
see entry 81 see entry 165 see entry 80
Fig. 10. Nicolas Besnier, pots à oille (tureens) from the Walpole service. Musée du Louvre
decorative furnishings and objets d’art in the louvre from louis xiv to marie-antoinette
1960s, even as fine collections in specific fields such as precious metalwork and porcelain were constituted. Little by little, the works accumulated in the former rooms, which had not been designed to accommodate such expansion and diversification. Furthermore, the two parallel galleries along rue de Rivoli displaying snuffboxes and precious metalwork, plus the series of rooms overlooking the Cour Carrée, no longer met the requirements of the collection nor the understandable expectations of museum-goers. The thirty-three rooms newly refurbished under the guidance of Marc Bascou and Jacques Garcia, with the aid of the Department of Decorative Arts, and, in particular, of Frédéric Dassas and Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, as well as Fabrice Ouziel, correspond to those that, until 2005, occupied the second floor of the north wing of the Cour Carrée, minus the space required to install two large stairways on either side of the Marengo Pavilion plus a third at the east end, all necessitated by new safety norms for public buildings. They also include, however, the Conseil
d’État chambers and the Beauvais Pavilion, where part of the collection had taken refuge in 2005, but which were closed in turn in 2009; they have been restored thanks to support from Montres Breguet, the Breguet watch firm. Finally, the room where the Deborah tapestry and Louis XIV’s gold coffer were installed in 1993, linking the second-floor rooms of the former finance ministry offices to the second floor of the Cour Carrée, was incorporated into the project, thereby offering museum-goers who arrive from the Richelieu wing a magnificent introduction to the Louis XIV and Régence rooms, thanks to its wood paneling, Boulle furniture, and set of tapestries showing the Emblems of the Navy. The spacious Conseil d’État chambers with their nineteenth-century painted ceilings now host a homogeneous display of masterpieces from the major royal manufactories and crown workshops during the reign of Louis XIV, headed by Charles Le Brun from 1667 onward, as well as furniture by André-Charles Boulle and by Charles Cressent during the Régence period. The large room in the Beauvais Pavilion,
Fig. 11. Showcases displaying Rouen pottery in the department’s new rooms.
see entry 55
Fig. 12. Woodwork from the Le Bas de Montargis residence installed in the department’s new rooms
see entry 67
meanwhile, with its imposing ceiling depicting the Triumph of Marie de’ Medici, houses display cases featuring faience (fig. 11) and precious metalwork from the second half of the seventeenth century and the Régence era, up to the blossoming of rococo art around 1750, the most important examples being displayed in the form of large, dressed sideboards. The north wing of the Cour Carrée will henceforth begin with a room containing the elegant panels painted by Jean-Baptiste Oudry for the Château de Voré. Next, the two long rows of rooms flanking each side of the Marengo Pavilion are interconnected by transversal galleries allowing visitors to move from one to the other. The southern row, overlooking the Cour Carrée, is devoted to a series of period rooms, while the northern rooms, overlooking rue de Rivoli, will host a series of display cases featuring various themes. The plan adopted in 2005 also sought to diversify the approaches offered to museum-goers based on easily-identifiable themes of interest. A chronological approach was favored for the overall layout, in order to set things in a historic context and to follow the natural progression of stylistic trends, from French classicism to the Régence style and on to rococo art,
followed by a return to the antique taste and neoclassicism. The display was also elaborated around several sets of decorative wood paneling, only a few of which had been previously on show. Indeed, luck has felicitously endowed the Louvre with coherent decorative interiors ranging from 1700 up to around 1780. The series opens with the highly innovative wood paneling originally done for the Le Bas de Montargis residence (figs. 12-13), executed by the same artists who worked for the king in Versailles, and it ends with the graceful interior traditionally associated with the famous actress, dancer, and art patron Mademoiselle Guimard, recently donated to the museum in memory of Aline GuerrandHermès, as well as with the elegantly painted panels in the Comte d’Artois’s second “Turkish study” in Versailles. Between those two poles are located a fine set of paneled interiors, around 1750, from the former Villemaré-Dangé residence, whose library now serves as a setting for the Louvre’s collection of scientific instruments, and the outstanding woodwork from the Château d’Abondant complete with its original furniture, not forgetting the ceremonial bedchamber from the Chevreuse residence, dating from 1766–67. Thus the major stylistic periods
see entry 1
see entry 148
see entry 149
see entries 63 to 65 see entry 66 see entry 147
decorative furnishings and objets d’art in the louvre from louis xiv to marie-antoinette
see entry 156
see entry 217 see entry 175
see entries 172, 201 to 205
orchestrate the rooms in the same way they pace the various sections of this book. None of these interiors, of course, has survived entirely complete. Yet this approach reveals the functional and spatial logic of works by creating the appropriate volumes with their specific entrances and circulation, reconstituting a coherent decorative setting in terms of floors, paneling, doors and windows, cornices, and ceilings. At the same time, a number of display cases in the northwest gallery contain furnishings and objects that complement the rococo rooms. There is also a Louis XV gallery featuring royal and aristocratic precious metalwork—the fine boxes, watches, and snuffboxes of the years 1720–60. Other cases focus on the neoclassical period, providing a close-up view of particularly fragile works, of small objects set on furniture, and of pieces of mechanical furniture left open in order to reveal their structure and use. One showcase features the luxury trade in Paris, underscoring the crucial role played by the luxury-goods dealers known as marchands-merciers, who were simultaneously designers, distributors, decorators, and dealers in curiosities, supplying the royal family and other grand connoisseurs. Two display cases devoted to the art of dining take the form of table settings, reflecting French-style dinner service, notably including the impressive table service of King George III of England. A separate display case hosts two original wax models illustrating one stage in the production of magnificent furniture. Finally, two last sets of cases feature the most precious objects and furnishings in the collection of Queen Marie-Antoinette. In order to place these works in their historic context, and to underscore the close links between these collections (often of royal origin) and other artistic commissions made by the crown or royal princes, the new rooms will also host several artworks generously loaned by other departments in the Louvre— Painting, Sculpture, and Prints and Drawings. These include portraits like the famous one of Louis XIV painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud and another of Louis XVI sculpted by Augustin Pajou, as well as drawings and engravings that, when set alongside furniture and decorative objects, facilitate an understanding of the overall development of design and decoration. A contribution was also made by the department of
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, which has lent ancient sculptures originally from the collections of the Comte d’Orsay, architect Léon Dufourny, and other eighteenth-century connoisseurs, all assembled in the “Piranesi room.” Notably viewed alongside vases with gilt-bronze mounts and furniture owned by the Duc d’Aumont, they offer insight into the rise of the “antique taste” and the sources of the neoclassical movement. Overdoor panels painted by François Boucher have now been re-installed in their original positions in the new rooms. Meanwhile, a ceiling painted with chinoiserie motifs by Giovanni Scajario for a Venetian palazzo has been retrieved from the oblivion of the storerooms to complement the display of rococo furniture and porcelain featuring this Chinese theme. Similarly, the spectacular dome painted by Antoine-François Callet for a now-demolished pavilion of the Palais Bourbon, has for the first time been reassembled and installed in the middle of the Marengo Pavilion, recreating a French neoclassical atmosphere suited to the aesthetic variously expressed in furniture and decorative objects owned by the likes of the Prince de Condé, the Marquise de Pompadour, and the Comtesse du Barry. This same impulse prompted the Louvre to turn to the Musée du Château de Versailles et des Trianons, which has lent, for example, the amazing astronomical Creation of the World clock featuring precious metalwork by François-Thomas Germain, impressive testimony to the rise of the sciences in the eighteenth century. Other French heritage institutions, including the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, the Musée du Château de Fontainebleau, the Cité de la Céramique de Sèvres, the Musée National de la Renaissance-Château d’Écouen, the Mobilier National, the Société Archéologique de Touraine and the Conseil Général d’Indre-et-Loire also deserve thanks for their contributions. Finally, we must stress the generosity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for agreeing to a longterm loan of two painted panels originally decorating the Comte d’Artois’s “Turkish study” in Versailles. It is hoped that these new juxtapositions will spur the interest of scholars, students, and, more broadly, all the visitors to the Louvre who have long been deprived of one of the finest collections in the world. Fig. 13. Detail of woodwork from the Le Bas de Montargis residence.
see entry 151
see entry 68
see entries 17, 149, 161, 164, 167
The Decorative Spirit Frédéric Dassas
Works of decorative art are subject to a paradoxical fate: originally designed to create a coherent setting and provide an environment conducive to hosting and enhancing an entire range of social activities, they are subsequently dispersed, sometimes dismantled, and often altered, only to be once again selected, collected, and recombined by generations of art lovers and museum curators. Hence today those decorative objects—more than any other art form—require a physical as well as intellectual reconstruction of their original context in order to reveal their full beauty and convey their full meaning. The notion of context is infinitely expandable. Here we focus primarily on three aspects: the broader historical context, which provides insight into the question of styles; the institutional and practical framework that governed the production of artworks; and the specific use made of these items at the time, earning them a place not only in the settings for which they were designed but also within the social hierarchy governing the status of the individuals who commissioned and used them.
and Stylistic Developments The period from Louis XIV to the French Revolution covers three reigns, including the two longest in the history of the French monarchy. It was marked first by stylistic developments closely related to a highly centralized arts administration, yet it yielded one of the freest styles ever to emerge, followed by a radical return to classicism in the mid eighteenth century. The overall unity of the period was largely the product of the long reign of Louis XIV, for the eighteenth century was shaped simultaneously by an acceptance of his heritage, by reactions against him, and by nostalgia for his accomplishments.
The early years of Louis XIV’s personal reign (1661–1715) The early years of Louis XIV’s reign were particularly brilliant. The young king enjoyed a series of military and diplomatic victories. Thanks to uncontested authority, he laid the foundations of a modern state, he played the role of patron to scholars, artists, and writers, and he built palaces of unrivaled splendor. Although his successes were indisputable, Louis’s glamorous policies rested on a fragile base— the kingdom’s resources had difficulty meeting the government’s needs. Economic activity lagged. By the 1670s already, the German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz stressed, during a stay in France, the country’s lack of credit, deflating prices, and limited volume of trade. He was struck by the wretchedness of the provinces compared to the rosy luxury in Paris. “Even princes themselves, the entire nobility… and the rest, the mass of the population, are slowly wasting away,” he observed. “Foreigners who visit only hotels and speak only of trifles do not perceive this. The hotels continue to flourish while 1. Quoted in Belaval 2005, 91.
the rest of the kingdom withers.”1 The kingdom was becoming anemic even as Louis XIV, triumphant on land and sea, was building Versailles. Funds were limited, cash was scarce, and the consequences of this shortage of legal tender affected every level of society. The difficulty of buying and selling, of paying for labor or paying debts, became an obstacle to the growth of business; low prices and wages favored wealthy landlords but penalized producers, whether farmers or craftsmen, leading to the ruin of trade and the widespread impoverishment of the people. In the second half of Louis XIV’s reign, the problem would take on even greater scope. This unfavorable situation, marked by constant wars and economic difficulties, explains why the crown was the sole center of artistic initiative. The court now absorbed all energy, whereas the blossoming of private projects in Paris or the provinces had characterized the mid seventeenth century and would do so again in the eighteenth. Throughout the entire first part of Louis XIV’s reign, the management of artistic activity seemed to rest almost exclusively in the hands of three men: the king, his minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and artist Charles Le Brun. As of 1664, Colbert combined his ministerial responsibilities with the office of superintendant of the Bâtiments du Roi (Office of Royal Works), which gave him authority over manufactories, academies, crown commissions, and royal construction sites. Le Brun, named first painter to the king in 1662, director of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1663, and director of the Manufacture Royale des Meubles de la Couronne in 1667, was the great coordinator of royal pomp, charged with giving concrete form to the king’s designs. Fig. 1. Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743), Portrait of Louis XIV in coronation robes. Paris, Musée du Louvre
the decorative spirit
the decorative spirit
the decorative spirit
the decorative spirit
the decorative spirit
From Louis XIV’s Personal Reign to the Régence Period, 1661–1723 Woodwork and painted interiors 112
Tapestries and carpets 114
Faience and porcelain 178
Precious metalwork, watches, and snuffboxes 208
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
1. Decorative woodwork from the Le Bas de Montargis residence Paris, 1705–07, modern additions Artisans de la Société pour les Bâtiments du Roi (Jules Degoullons and partners) Carved, painted, and gilded wood, mirror Assigned from the Administration des Domaines, 1898. OA 12300 (niches), OA 12301–12302 (piers), and OA 12307.6 (panels)
fter submitting in 1699 the drawings of the elevations of a new square in Paris, to be called Place Louis-le-Grand (now Place Vendôme), Jules Hardouin-Mansart purchased several building plots.1 In 1704 he resold one of these plots, located on the southwest corner of the square, to his son-in-law, Claude Le Bas de Montargis.2 Le Bas de Montargis was a key financier for the monarchy, having been named treasurer of the Extraordinaire des Guerres (emergency war fund) in 1701 and later appointed keeper of the royal treasury in 1708. His lavish residence, or hôtel particulier, was completed in 1707, making it one of the first homes built on the new square. The Louvre holds several fragments of its interior decoration, although their precise origin is not always known.A pier above a fireplace (OA 12302) was originally located in the third of the row of rooms overlooking the square, described as a “grand cabinet” (large private sitting-room) in 1748 upon the death of Madame Le Bas de Montargis. The upper part of the woodwork framing the recesses (OA 12300) was installed in another room overlooking the courtyard. The precise location of a second pier for a mirror (OA 12301) and two panels (OA 12307.6) remains unknown. The interest of these items lies in the close family connection between Hardouin-Mansart—the architect behind the royal construction projects— and Le Bas de Montargis, who commissioned
1. Pons 1996, 428. 2. Claeys 2008, II, 107. 3. AN, MC, LXXIX, 59, March 4, 1748. 4. Pons 1995, 174.
Pier mirror above the fireplace, Le Bas de Montargis residence prior to demolition, c. 1898 112
the decorative features. Executed by craftsmen accustomed to working for the king, they constitute some of the earliest examples of privatesector appropriation of an innovative decorative idiom developed for the court at the dawn of the eighteenth century. They notably feature the masterful handling of a tall mirror set over the fireplace, an approach that was known at the time as a cheminée à la royale (royal-style fireplace). This arrangement was disseminated through engravings and became enormously popular. The same was true of the latticework grounds, the fine panels with rosettes, and the shell-work grotesques from which spring floral garlands, all testifying to a new decorative repertoire that would set the tone for the decade to follow. It should nevertheless be noted that the mirrors were still composed of six to eight relatively small pieces rather than the two or three large, lavish sheets of glass that the SaintGobain glass factory was just beginning to produce. Le Bas de Montargis was a client of André-Charles Boulle, for his name appears in the cabinetmaker’s papers regarding plinths about which nothing else is known. In 1748, the apartment overlooking the square still contained a four-drawer commode, a chandelier, and a large clock attributed to Boulle.3 The commode has not been identified, but the Louvre holds a chandelier of a type identical to the one owned by Le Bas de Montargis (see catalogue no. 29). Thanks to an exceptional loan from the Musée des Arts et Métiers–Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, the magnificent clock (identified long ago, see catalogue no. 23), has now temporarily rejoined the setting in which it found itself in the eighteenth century. This woodwork was consigned to the Louvre by the Administration des Domaines when the military government of the City of Paris moved out of the building in 1898. Part of that consignment, apparently coming from the mezzaninelevel apartments, had been deposited in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the meantime. The recessed segments and one pier (OA 12301) were installed in the Department of Decorative Arts in 1964.The other elements remained in storage. The current installation does not claim to reconstitute the historic state of the interior of any one of the rooms in the residence. The fireplace pier (OA 12302), the niches, and the panels have been brought together in the same spot. The other pier (OA 12301) is displayed separately. Study of panels still in store, which have not been stripped, provide information on the faux-marble decoration they were given in the early eighteenth century. Elements of the interior decoration from the Le Bas de Montargis residence can also be found in the collections of Waddesdon Manor (Buckinghamshire, England) and the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles).4 FD
BOISERIES ET DÉCORS PEINTS
WOODWORK AND PAINTED INTERIORS
2. Tapestry of L’Histoire du Roi: L’Audience du Cardinal Chigi
(The History of the King:The Audience with Cardinal Chigi) Paris, 1665–72 After Charles Le Brun Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, workshop of Jean Lefebvre High-warp tapestry, wool, silk, gold and silver thread H. 525 cm; W. 717 cm On long-term loan from the Mobilier National, 1946. GMTT 95 1
1. Vittet, in New York exh. cat. 2007–08 (1), no. 44, 374. 2. Hugues de Lionne, quoted by Vittet in New York exh. cat. 2007–08 (1), 387, note 24. 3. Saint-Simon 1983, 450. 4. Fenaille 1903–23, I, 99 ; Brejon de Lavergnée and Vittet, 2010, no. 86, 185.
he set of tapestries known as The History of the King, designed to illustrate high points in the reign of Louis XIV, is perhaps the most famous of the grand wall hangings woven at the Gobelins factory under the supervision of Charles Le Brun. The early stages of its development remain unknown, but the highly political nature of the project certainly implied direct oversight by Colbert and probably by the king himself.1 The choice of the approach to depiction sparked debate, the main issue being the role to be played by allegory. The finest example of a hagiographic cycle then visible in France was a set of paintings on the life of Queen Marie de’ Medici, hanging in the gallery of the Palais du Luxembourg. Executed under the supervision of Rubens, those paintings combined allegorical figures and real people with dazzling virtuosity.That allegorical approach, however, was not adopted here—the king and Colbert decided on a purely realistic depiction, apparently against Le Brun’s advice. Between 1662 and 1665 the first subjects were chosen. They alternated between military exploits and political or diplomatic events. The tapestry here, titled The Audience with Cardinal Chigi, recounts the audience accorded to the papal
legate on July 29, 1664—the cardinal had come to convey an apology by Pope Alexander VII to the French court. The incident dated back to August 1662, when a servant of the Duc de Créqui, Louis XIV’s ambassador in Rome, had an altercation with one of the pope’s Corsican guards. The quarrel degenerated into an attack on the French embassy. When the pope refused to apologize to Louis XIV, the king recalled his ambassador and ordered his troops to occupy Avignon (at the time part of the Papal States). It took two years for an arrangement to be found: in exchange for returning Avignon, Louis XIV would receive an official apology. An obelisk was supposed to be erected in Rome to record the occasion. The scene takes place in the royal bedchamber at the Château de Fontainebleau. Louis XIV and the cardinal are seated inside the balustrade surrounding the bed. In his hand the cardinal holds the pre-arranged text of the apology, which he read “in a voice so loud that everyone in attendance heard it,” according to one eyewitness.2 Standing behind the king are the main officers of his chamber. The rest of the audience remains on the other side of the balustrade. Le Brun’s depiction of the scene contains a certain number of differences from the actual event. The main one was certainly not accidental: the cardinal is shown on a simple chair, whereas it has been attested that he was seated in an armchair identical to the king’s.The court chronicler Saint-Simon complained that the Comte d’Harcourt, who was charged with accompanying the legate, was shown in the middle of the composition with a hat on his head, “a remarkable piece of knavery” that SaintSimon attributed to scheming by the master of ceremonies.3 Perhaps Le Brun also resorted to this artifice—which does not appear in a preparatory drawing now in the Louvre—in order to add some relief to his composition. A few minor inaccuracies have also been noted in the rendering of the decoration of the bedchamber. This tapestry was part of the first weaving of The History of the King, comprising fourteen high-warp pieces heightened with gold, woven FD between 1665 and 1679.4 115
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
8. Première Tenture chinoise : L’Audience du prince
(First Chinese Tapestry: The Audience of the Prince) Beauvais, first third of the eighteenth century After Guy-Louis Vernansal, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, and Jean-Baptiste Blain de Fontenay Manufacture Royale de Beauvais Tapestry, wool and silk H. 400 cm; W. 508 cm Gift of René Grog and Madame Grog-Carven, 1973. OA 10446
s the Gobelins worked essentially for the king, Colbert favored the establishment of a manufactory capable of meeting the needs of a demanding private clientele. Workshops were set up in Beauvais and entrusted to Louis Hinard, a merchant and master tapestry maker from the city. Several tapestries woven under his direction enjoyed a certain success, but he did not manage to stabilize the finances of the establishment. It was thus taken over by a Flemish entrepreneur, Philippe Béhagle, who managed to call on painters capable of producing designs likely to appeal to a wider clientele. While he was taking over the manufactory, two events struck people’s imaginations, reinforcing the craze for what was generally called “China” at the time. The first, recounted in detail in the Mercure galant of September 1684, was the visit to Versailles and Paris of a Jesuit missionary who had lived in China for twenty-four years, Père Couplet, accompanied by a young Chinese Christian convert, Michael Shen Fuzong.1 On this occasion, the Duc du Maine, the legitimized son, then aged fourteen, of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, presented them with one of his mathematical instruments. It was perhaps in memory of this encounter that a first tapestry of The History of China, in wool, silk, and gold, was designed and woven at the Beauvais manufactory for the young duke a few years later. The reception of the ambassadors of the King of Siam at Versailles in 1686 was the second major event. The exotic splendor of the ambassadors, put up with their retinue in Paris, was
received with enthusiasm. Three of them visited the Beauvais manufactory, thus becoming living models that inspired the imaginations of the painters and tapestry makers. By choosing such a fashionable subject, Béhagle created a historical pendant to the essentially decorative tapestry of Grotesques on aYellow Ground (see catalogue no. 7). It was, moreover, borders devised for the latter works that were used for the various components of Chinese Tapestry. The hoped-for success materialized, and many series were woven for over thirty years. The Audience of the Prince was the most frequently woven subject. It depicts Emperor Kangxi of China, a contemporary of Louis XIV, receiving four visitors bowing down before him. His throne and several imperial attributes represented on the tapestry are taken from Jean Nieuhof’s book Legatio batavica ad magnum Tartatiae hamum Sungteium, modernum Sinae imperatorem, published in Amsterdam in 1665 (Dutch Embassy to the great Khan Shunzhi of Tartary, current emperor of China). The decoration of the imperial pavilion is, however, much more fanciful. The flimsy architecture topped with a large parasol and two dragons includes several elements, such as finials and ribbed arches, inspired by Gothic architecture, which since the sixteenth century was thought to originate in the traditions introduced into Western art by the Goths of the Orient. A similar liberty is found in the choice of animals, with creatures such as parrots and a crane (plausible in a Chinese landscape) depicted unexpectedly alongside an African elephant. MH R
1. Bremer-David 1995, 90; Versailles exh. cat. 2004, 221–222.
TAPESTRIES AND CARPETS
TAPESTRIES AND CARPETS
9. Carpet woven for the Grande Galerie du Louvre Paris, between 1668 and 1689 After a model by Charles Le Brun or Louis Le Vau Manufacture Royale de la Savonnerie “Savonnerie” hand-knotted carpet, wool and linen W. 890 cm; L. 490 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1901. OA 5432 bis B
n the early seventeenth century, the tapestry maker Pierre Dupont was given the possibility of setting up in the galleries of the Louvre by Henry IV in order to make carpets “in the fashion of Turkey and the Levant,” using the hand-knotting technique that he proposed to introduce to France. Around 1625, one of his former apprentices, Simon Lourdet, founded his own workshop in Chaillot, in the former building of a soap factory. It was this workshop that the Crown commissioned, in 1664, to make thirteen carpets for the future Apollo Gallery,1 rebuilt at the request of Louis XIV after the fire in the Petite Galerie in 1661.2 New looms, particularly long and sturdy, were designed for these very large carpets. A new style was created, harmonizing with the design of the coffers of the vault whose painted and sculpted decoration was conceived by Charles Le Brun. The carpets were completed during the summer of 1666 and delivered to the Garde-Meuble in 1667. At more or less the same time, Louis XIV and Colbert decided to create a large parterre out of ninety-three carpets that were to cover the entire floor of the Grande Galerie, also known as the “riverside gallery.” The program for the
whole was once again entrusted, it seems, to Le Brun and perhaps Louis Le Vau.3 On each carpet, broad, colorful foliate scrolls of acanthus, flowers, and various other ornaments stand out against a black ground; in the center, in a large panel with a light-colored ground, various symbols and attributes of the king are organized around a central motif. Every second carpet featured landscapes at its ends, the others had monochrome cartouches imitating classical basreliefs. Each model was to be woven twice. For this undertaking, Dupont’s workshop was transferred to Chaillot and orders were placed with the two families. The large parterre was never installed in the Grande Galerie. Before the completion of the weaving, Louis XIV had decided to move his court to Versailles and the various works in progress at the Louvre were abandoned. The eminently decorative and highly symbolic nature of each carpet in the series made them works of art in their own right. In the end, 102 carpets were woven; most were used in royal residences, the others were given as diplomatic gifts. MH R
1. Verlet 1982, 27–35, 188–89, 476; Vittet 1995. 2. Fonkenell, in BrescBautier 2004, 44. 3. Bremer-David 1995, 141.
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
13. Marble mosaic and pietre-dure table top Paris, c. 1680–90 Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, pietre-dure workshop Marble inlaid with jasper, agate, sardonyx, amethyst, lapis lazuli, smaragdite, marble, and serpentine; gilt bronze L. 134.4 cm; W. 102 cm Former Crown collection. MR 406
s early as 1645 Mazarin, the chief royal minister, considered bringing to Paris craftsmen from Florence, Italy, who specialized in the expensive technique of hard-stone inlay, or pietre dure. This plan finally came to fruition in 1668 when, reflecting Louis XIV’s determination to enhance royal prestige, a special workshop was established within the Gobelins manufactory. Indeed, the king’s economic minister, Colbert, managed to recruit two master craftsmen from Florence: Ferdinando Megliorini (assisted by his brother Orazio) and Filippi Branchi, who successively served as foreman of this highly reputed workshop. When Branchi died in 1699, the workshop was run by their disciple, Jean Le Tellier, who continued to produce a limited output right to the end of Louis XIV’s reign despite diminishing interest in these luxurious inlaid objects.1 Given the high cost and complexity of a technique that required supreme mastery, it was employed solely on ceremonial furnishings such large cabinets or tables for royal residences. Under the artistic impetus of Charles Le Brun, the pietre-dure items produced at the Gobelins manufactory clearly differed from the Florentine models on which they were based. Table tops in particular, with their large, structured compositions and very rich polychrome effects,
were unparalleled works displaying stylistic mastery at a peerless level of virtuosity. Over the twenty-two-year period from 1671 to 1693 it would appear that only six tops were made and delivered to the Garde-Meuble (royal furniture depository). The date of the one here—clearly a masterpiece of its kind—remains uncertain due to the impossibility of identifying it precisely among recorded deliveries.2 It is an unusually magnificent table, with a dense composition more saturated with ornament than its Florentine equivalents; furthermore, this composition is less compartmentalized than most large Gobelin tables, on which panels of landscapes and birds accompany royal emblems. In the center is a large, radiating rosette while the corners are marked by lyres on globes decorated with fleurs-de-lis. The top combines purely decorative motifs—scrolling foliage, shellwork, bowl-like forms with lion’s paws, strapwork, and cartouches—with vibrantly natural clusters of fruit, garlands of flowers, and parrots on perches. The variety and skilled arrangement of colored stones accentuate the main lines: the eye is drawn to the central rosette and corner lyres (alluding to the myth of Apollo) in which the stoneworker admirably exploited the intense blue of lapis lazuli in contrast to the red and yellow jasper. MB
1.Castellucio 2007, 40–83. 2. Alcouffe 1993, 330–341.
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
17. Upper part of a cabinet with floral marquetry decoration Paris, c. 1680–1700 André-Charles Boulle Oak carcass, ebony veneer, première-partie and contre-partie marquetry in tortoiseshell, brass, and pewter, polychrome wood inlay, gilt-bronze mounts, Blue Turquin marble top H. 105 cm; W. 118 cm; D. 53.5 cm On long-term loan from the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, 2012. V 4653, VMB 932
ndré-Charles Boulle apparently remained fond of making cabinets-on-stand (see following catalogue entry) late into his career, even after the fashion for this type of furniture was passing. The origin of such cabinets goes back to the large veneered ebony cabinets made in Paris in the early seventeenth century, characterized by the combination of a stand—with a variable number of legs, sometimes richly carved—with a cabinet containing an articulated system of drawers, shelves, cubbyholes, and secret nooks, fronted by large doors. They were often adorned with delicate decoration evoking grottoes or architectural features.
1. Private collection. 2. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1949.539; Collection of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry, Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland. 3. Arizzoli-Clémentel 2002, no. 1, 30; Frankfurt exh. cat. 2009–10, no. 3. 192. 4. Samoyault 2004, no. 301, 365.
Boulle’s cabinets tended to reduce and simplify this model, compensated by a lavish decoration of multi-material marquetry and bronze mounts. They can be divided into two broad families: those with drawers in front (thought to be earlier) and those with drawers on the sides (see catalogue no. 18). The cabinet here, which has unfortunately lost its stand, is the only one in the Louvre belonging to the first group. The relatively early date ascribed to this cabinet is due not only to the frontal drawers but also to the importance placed on the panels of polychrome wood inlay. The cabinet features three “pictures”: the first graces the door in front and shows a parrot on a branch, while the other two are set in round medallions in the middle of the sides and depict birds, flowers, and butterflies. The fronts of the drawers are handled in première-partie marquetry of tortoiseshell, brass, and pewter. Several other extant cabinets were conceived along the same lines: one whose marquetry on the drawers features tortoiseshell and pewter patterns on a brass ground,1 and two others whose drawers have a tortoiseshell ground.2 Their marquetry perhaps comes, in part, from matching cuts.Whereas the marquetry technique of simultaneously cutting several sheets made it easy to produce panels for several pieces of furniture, the same was not true of the wood inlay known as floral marquetry, which was considerably more laborious. Perhaps that difficulty was one of the reasons that Boulle progressively abandoned floral marquetry as his workshop began to repeat similar models in greater numbers.3 When this cabinet entered the national collection at the time of the French Revolution it had already lost its stand. In the early nineteenth century it was converted into a low cabinet by the addition of a base and a marble top.4 FD
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
18. Pair of cabinets-on-stand with the figure
of Louis XIV in Roman-style dress
Paris, c. 1690–1710 André-Charles Boulle Oak, softwood, and walnut carcass, ebony veneer, première-partie and contre-partie marquetry in tortoiseshell, brass, and pewter, gilt-bronze mounts H. 187 cm; W. 99 cm; D. 51 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1870. OA 5468–5469 Illustrated here, OA 5468
he Louvre holds the only two known examples of cabinets by André-Charles Boulle that feature a bas-relief of Louis XIV in Roman-style dress.These cabinets still have their stands, and their drawers are set into the sides. As always, many features characteristic of Boulle’s work are immediately recognizable: the framing of the central door with its dog’s feet and trophy was a favorite Boulle theme, which he employed in several variations on an entire series of cabinets (see following catalogue entry). The rams’ heads at the top of the square legs of the stand are notably found on his gueridons. As to the marquetry decorating the vertical back of the stands, they were used to cover the table tops. An effort at compositional unification similar to that noted in the armoires (see catalogue no. 15) is detectible when these two cabinets are compared to the preceding one. The front seems framed by a continuous ornamental band
accompanied by fine bronze molding. On these cabinets the door and its frame are applied to the façade like a frontispiece; shifting the drawers to the side lends primacy to the central motif, from behind which flow two elegant, lateral swirls of marquetry.The bronze mounts assume spectacular scope, whether in the form of the large central frame set on dog’s paws, the rich openwork apron on the drawer in the front of the stand, or especially the large bas-relief showing Louis XIV in classical dress, occupying the entire surface that had been allocated to a composition of floral marquetry on the previous cabinet. These two cabinets were very probably a pair even though their marquetry was not cut from matching sheets. They entered the national collection during the French Revolution, and in the nineteenth century were part of the Boulle furnishings used to decorate the gallery of the Château de Saint-Cloud.1 FD
1. Alcouffe et al.1993, no. 17, 62.
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
19. Pair of cabinets-on-stand with medallion
in the effigy of Louis XIV
Paris, c. 1690–1710 André-Charles Boulle Oak and softwood carcass, ebony veneer, première-partie and contre-partie marquetry of brass, pewter, tortoiseshell and stained horn, gilt-bronze mounts H. 183 cm; W. 82 cm; D. 38 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1870. OA 5451– 5452. Illustrated here, OA 5452
his pair of cabinets is a smaller-scale variant of the previous set of cabinets. The door panels display the characteristic interplay of first-part and counter-part marquetry: the firstpart pattern on the outer panel of one cabinet is repeated, in reverse counter part (i.e., pewter ground), on the inner panel of the other. The Victorian and Albert Museum in London holds the only other known example of cabinets of this type, but only the upper part has survived, transformed into a low cabinet.1 It displays the same complementary marquetry panels, with first part on the outside and counter part (pewter ground) on the inside. The marquetry for these three cabinets might have been cut from the same sheets. The interiors of almost all eighteenth-century collectors included furnishings decorated with multi-material marquetry. Up to the 1770s, such pieces were usually attributed to André-Charles Boulle, but then the first copies, variations, and Boulle-inspired inventions appeared, listed in sale catalogues as “in the style of Boulle” or simply as “boulle work,” indicating that the master’s name had already acquired the generic meaning it still retains today. In 1776, the famous collection of financier Paul Randon de Boisset (see catalogue nos. 185 and 201) included no less than twenty-six such items of the thirty-seven
1. Inv. 1118–1882. 2. AN, MC, XXIX, 529, March 25, 1766. 3. AN, MC, LXXXIV, 546, October 18, 1776.
lots at auction in the section devoted to “curious marquetry furniture,” representing the largest group owned by any collector of the day. Before entering Randon de Boisset’s collection, the Louvre’s cabinets belonged to Jean de Jullienne (see catalogue nos. 30, 88, and 184). In 1767 they were located in the gallery of his mansion, which displayed—in addition to paintings—an impressive quantity of treasures: masterpieces by Boulle, porphyry vases, alabaster tables, Coromandel lacquer armoires, Japanese lacquer cabinets, many pieces of porcelain, small bronzes, terracotta items, drawings, a collection of snuffboxes, shells, corals, weapons, and so on, not forgetting a little minaret made of motherof-pearl and pearls.2 When Randon de Boisset’s posthumous estate inventory was drawn up, these cabinets were located in the antechamber on the second floor of his residence on rue des Capucines. They were accompanied by three pairs of gueridons and two low cabinets by Boulle on which were placed clocks of a well-identified model adorned with figures of the Fates.3 Like all the furniture that was exhibited in the gallery of the Château de Saint-Cloud in the nineteenth century (see catalogue nos. 18 and 21), these cabinets retain traces of the refurbishing done at the time. FD
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
39. Pair of large faience ewers with dragon-shaped handles Nevers, c. 1680–85 Faience with high-fired, polychrome decoration H. 60.5 cm; W. 39 cm; D. 27 cm Albert Gérard bequest, 1900. OA 5013 A and B
he large size of these two monumental ewers or buires (flagons) makes them unique examples of faience from Nevers1 and clearly identifies them as ceremonial items. Two large wash basins—one now in the Louvre2 and the other in the Cité de la Céramique3—are the only other pieces of Nevers faience that display a similarly refined quest for form, color, and ornamentation. Indeed, the baluster shape of these ewers is quite removed from the repertoire usually employed at Nevers, harking back to the ancient model of ewer disseminated in France from the sixteenth century onward thanks to engravings published by Agostino Veneziano and Enea Vico in Rome from 1531 to 1543. Those engravers reinvented ewers and vases based on ancient amphora, employing their surfaces and handles to display foliate and grotesque motifs drawn from the same repertoire. The Nevers earthenware maker who produced the Louvre’s ewers perhaps had their engravings to hand, for decorative artists and goldsmiths in particular continued to use them from Renaissance times. That is probably where he got the idea of pla-
cing a grotesque head beneath the spout, which is a regular feature of those famous designs. The inspiration for the curved handle in the form of a dragon came from another source, however, probably engravings published in 1673 by Jean Le Pautre, based on orange-tree pots made by goldsmith Claude I Ballin for the flowerbeds at Versailles from 1665 onward.4 Yet the idea did not originate with Ballin, who was influenced by designs by goldsmith Pierre Delabarre engraved around 1635—unless Ballin himself actually saw the splendid dragon mounts (with hinged tongues) that Delabarre set on sard vases in Louis XIV’s collection. Worth noting here is the Nevers potter’s use of spots and hues of green and yellow to suggest the dragons’ hide. The scenes depicted on the bellies of the ewers, meanwhile, are based on compositions engraved by Nicolas Chaperon (Old Silenus and Bacchanalia) and by Michel Dorigny (Bacchanalia). Ultimately, these pieces of Nevers faience hark back to the Renaissance even as they reflect the Louis-XIV style, and were clearly conceived as earthenware versions of precious metalwork. M BP
1. Rosen 2009, II, 319, fig. 548–550. 2. OA 11315. 3. Inv. MNC 9710. 4. Meyer 1936.
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
43. Trays with mythological scenes illustrating
Le Feu (Fire) and L’Air (Air)
Rouen, c. 1720–30 Attributed to Pierre II Chapelle, after Louis Boullogne the Younger Faience with polychrome high-fired decoration H. 45 cm; W. 62.5 cm Albert Gérard bequest, 1900. OA 5012 A and B
s was the case for the Seasons by Nicolas Fouquay (see catalogue no. 47), the Rouen factories distinguished themselves by producing works that represented a technical and pictorial
tour de force. They designed a few large trays intended to be placed on commodes, console tables,1 or inserted in wooden drinks tables, such as the two in the Musée du Louvre. The tables were used, in particular, to serve the exotic new drinks consumed since the late seventeenth century in Europe: coffee, tea, and chocolate. Several Rouen faience trays survive,2 most often painted with mythological or biblical decorations. Rouen historiated decorations, still very much influenced by Nevers in the early
FAIENCE AND PORCELAIN
1. John the Baptist Baptizing the People, Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres, inv. MNC 24986. 2. Map of France, Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres, inv. 27.101; Musée de la Céramique, Rouen, inv. C 288. 3. Bottle representing Venus Watching over Cupid, 1708, Musée de la Céramique, Rouen, inv. 21. 4. Grandjean 1999, 140–141. 5. Inv. 403 and 404.
eighteenth century,3 seemed to have had a new lease on life beginning in 1725, probably spurred on by Pierre II Chapelle. The decorations of these trays feature two compositions by Louis Boullogne the Younger, known through two prints by Charles Dupuis and Louis Desplaces.4 They represent the elements, Air and Fire, combined with two episodes from The Aeneid, Juno Ordering Aeolus to Unleash the Winds against Aeneas’ Fleet and Venus Asking Vulcan for Arms for Aeneas. On the border of the trays,
cartouches with birds and butterflies (one tray), and military trophies (the others) alternate on a dark blue ground filled with flowers and fruits. Both are attributed to Chapelle because they are similar in style with the four busts of the Seasons in the Louvre and Celestial and Terrestrial Spheres5 in the Musée de la Céramique in Rouen. NF
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
47. Busts of Les Quatre Saisons (The Four Seasons) Rouen, Nicolas Fouquay’s factory, c. 1730 Faience with polychrome high-fired decoration Busts: H. 80–83 cm; W. 60 cm Pedestals: H. 138 cm Purchase, 1882. OA 2608–2611 Illustrated opposite, OA 2608 Le Printemps (Spring, detail)
1. Private collection. 2. Musée de la Céramique, Rouen, inv. 403 and 404. 3. Musée du Louvre, Paris, OA 5314. 4. Book II, 26–27. 5. Apollo on His Chariot Surrounded by the Four Seasons. 6. Archives Départementales de la Seine-Maritime, Rouen, C/1541. 7. Posthumous estate inventory of J.-N. Levavasseur, June 25, 1755, Archives Départementales de la Seine-Maritime, Rouen, 4 BP 7001 and Fonds Lemerre. 8. Guilbert n. d., 43. 9. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, inv. 4551.1857.
uring the Renaissance, the faience technique was at its peak, so much so that it rivaled that of sculpture. Luca Della Robbia was the first to achieve a high degree of technical sophistication in Italy in the mid-fifteenth century. On the other hand, it was two and a half centuries before the Rouen earthenware makers in France tried their hands at sculpture in the round with the same virtuosity. They began by sculpting ancient heroes, such as Cleopatra and Mark Antony, before sculpting a first series of Seasons with white1 or mottled glaze. The interest aroused by these busts encouraged Rouen earthenware makers to produce a second polychrome series, four elements of which are in the Musée du Louvre, the most monumental ever produced in Rouen. The seasons are represented in the guises of ancient divinities in larger than life size. Ceres thus lends her features to Summer, Bacchus to Autumn. Each has a distinctive expression appropriate to its supposed character. The style of the faces, particularly that of Winter, is very similar to certain works by the painter Pierre II Chapelle, who produced the famous Celestial and Terrestrial Spheres.2 These analogies thus meant that the Louvre Seasons may be attributed to him. The busts rest on square pedestals supported by monumental plinths whose form is reminiscent of the pedestals3 of André-Charles Boulle. The decoration of each pedestal matches that of its plinth. The politically significant iconography adopted by the Rouen earthenware maker for the Seasons series had already been used in Versailles during the seventeenth century. It was from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which features the description of Phoebus-Apollo seated on a throne, surrounded by the Four Seasons in the palace of the Sun: “Phoebus sat . . . on a throne that glittered . . . and vernal Spring stood crowned with wreathed flowers; and naked Summer
stood with sheaves of wheat; and Autumn stood besmeared with trodden grapes; and icy Winter rough with hoary hair.”4 This iconography was used many times for ballet costumes, sculptures in the king’s gardens, and the vault of the Salon d’Apollon at Versailles painted by Charles de la Fosse in 1671.5 These busts are mentioned, extremely rare in the history of French faience, in the posthumous estate inventory of the earthenware maker Nicolas Fouquay,6 drawn up on June 26, 1742. It reveals “five large busts with their pedestals also in faience.” These prestigious pieces were placed in his study beside the merchandise storeroom where the factory owner received his clients. The Seasons series was supposed to show the range of the capabilities of his factory to clients, and thus ensure a certain primacy among Rouen earthenware makers. After the death of Nicolas Fouquay, Jacques-Nicolas Levavasseur, who would manage the Fouquay factory, had the busts moved to the storerooms of his own factory.7 A few years later, in 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte admired them during a visit to Rouen.8 The Levavasseur manufactory, on the brink of bankruptcy, then parted with the busts and sold them in 1846 to Parisian merchants who sold them to the tenth Duke of Hamilton a few months later. He put them in the Marble Entrance Hall of Hamilton Palace in Scotland, among his fabulous collection of objets d’art. Phoebus-Apollo was separated from the series in 1857 and given to the South Kensington Museum9 by the eleventh Duke of Hamilton. Finally, the four busts of the Seasons were acquired during the sale of the Hamilton Palace collections in 1882 by the Musée du Louvre on the order of Jules Ferry, thanks to the shrewd advice of Louis Courajod. The Seasons were a huge success in the nineteenth century and were copied by the Samson manufactory. NF
L OUIS XIV – RÉGENCE
48. Large pyramid vase De Witte Ster (“The White Star”) workshop, Delft, c. 1695 Dirck Witsenburgh Faience with high-fired monochrome decoration H. 178 cm; W. 50 cm; D. 50 cm Gift of Madame Louis Marchand, 1897. OA 4040
s of 1650, the many workshops in Delft used the formulas and processes developed by two pioneering factories, De Porceleyne Schotel (“The Porcelain Dish”) and De Porceleyne Lampetkan (“The Porcelain Ewer”), producing sublime pieces with blue and white decoration set off by a fine transparent glaze known as kwaart. In the mid-seventeenth century, Delft was the powerhouse of Dutch earthenware production, with some twenty factories working to satisfy a clientele eager to possess luxurious objects that were visually very close to the Chinese porcelain that had been imported by the Dutch East India Company since the turn of the century. The “WB” mark on the lower edge of the base is the monogram of Dirck Witsenburgh, director of the De Witte Ster (White Star) factory from 1690 to 1705. Many pyramid vases were produced in its workshops: sales contracts drawn up from 1723 onwards mention at least four models.1 In the nineteenth century these large vases were commonly known as “tulip vases,” in reference to the “tulip mania” that swept through the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. However, there is no evidence to confirm that they were used exclusively to display tulips. The only words used in Dutch archives from the period are “pyramid” and “pagoda.” These indoor vases for cut flowers may have been designed to hold different varieties of a single species, such as tulips, carnations, primroses, ranunculi, and anemones. The prototype for pyramid vases in the Netherlands is thought to date from 1670–80. Under the direction of Adriaen Kocks, the Grieksche A (Greek A) factory made superb
1. A pyramid base with this signature is in a private collection. 2. Scholten 1988, nos. 130–131. 3. Lahaussois et al. 2007, no. 5.04, 179–180
examples in shades of blue for the palaces of Het Loo and Hampton Court, the residences of monarchs William and Mary of England. Frederik Theodorus Scholten suggests that this pyramid form symbolizes the accord between the humanist ideal of the prince and the fashion for chinoiseries in the courts of northern Europe.2 The Louvre’s pyramid vase is the largest known example. It is made up of eleven stackable elements of decreasing size, each of which has lion’s-mouth spouts at its four corners to hold the flowers. The square-section base stands on four legs; its sides, whose corners are underscored by a protuberant, vertical snake, are decorated with motifs in the kraak style. Rocks and flowering bushes, home to birds and the mythological animal the kylin, alternate with “Chinese furniture” compositions. Bands of lambrequins complete the decoration of the base and also adorn each element of the pyramid. The four mermaids sculpted in the round, with their bifid fish tails, are one of the pyramid’s outstanding decorative features. They evoke the iconography of Versailles, where the mermaid theme was present in Charles Le Brun’s designs for the fountains and basins in the park.This motif constituted the main element of the Mermaid Fountain, a work by Gaspard and Balthazar Marsy, now lost. It is found on the Pyramid Fountain executed by François Girardon in 1672, in an arrangement very close to that of the Louvre pyramid vase. Christine Lahaussois has very rightly emphasized these shared motifs and the possibility that Delft ceramicists were inspired by the Dutch edition of Les Fontaines & c. deVersailles, published in Amsterdam in 1695.3 CG
The Rococo Years 1720-60
Woodwork and painted interiors 222
Tapestries and carpets 234
Faience and porcelain 292
Precious metalwork, watches, and snuffboxes 330
65. Wood paneling from the private sitting room of the courtyard
apartment of the Dangé residence
Paris, c. 1750, modern additions Carved, painted, and gilded wood, oil paintings on panel, oil paintings on canvas, mirror H. below cornice: 470 cm Assigned from the Administration des Domaines, 1898. OA 12449
he row of rooms along the courtyard wing of the Dangé mansion ended in this cabinet (little sitting room), a gem of a room in harmonious shades of blue, white, and gold, drenched in light from the two casement windows overlooking the courtyard and by a French window leading westward to a terrace that extended from the wing. The room was clearly the most richly decorated one in the building, with its blue-painted woodwork heightened by carved decoration gilded in several hues of gold, and enlivened by paintings— set in curvilinear frames—of children at play. At the time of Dangé’s death, the sitting room was furnished to harmonize perfectly with the colors of the woodwork: a gilded wood console table with white marble top served as a pendant to the fireplace; the chairs, also of gilded wood, were upholstered in “blue damask with white stripes,” and the same fabric was used for the curtains on the two casement windows and French window. The interior was completed by Chinese and Sèvres porcelain, also in blue and white. The wood paneling in the sitting room had already been repainted and regilded in the nineteenth century, and was dispersed when it arrived at the Louvre in 1898. Most of panels, with additions made for the purpose, were used after the First World War as the setting for the display of the Isaac de Camondo collection in the Louvre’s Mollien wing, where they remained there until they were taken down in 1995. Meanwhile, a pier mirror (slightly cut down in height) and two embrasures for the doors with their carved overdoor panels were installed in the galleries of the Department of Decorative Arts in 1964. The leaves of the mirrored door between the study and the bedroom remained in store, as did the inner shutters and soffits of the windows. Once reunited, these elements constituted a very complete ensemble. All that
Private sitting room, Dangé residence prior to demolition, c. 1898
was missing were the white marble fireplace, the windows with their breast panels, and the French window giving onto the terrace. Old descriptions plus photographs taken prior to dismantling have made it possible to present a very faithful reconstruction of the sitting room. A few vestiges beneath the repainted surfaces retained traces of the intense blue that originally enlivened the panels. The variously toned golds mentioned in period descriptions survived beneath the heavy nineteenth-century regilding. The figurative scenes were also heavily repainted but have been restored to reveal the fine quality of their original handling. This sitting room is one of the few extant examples of an interior of wood paneling with colored ground, of which there were many in the mid-eighteenth century until driven out of fashion by the white grounds that usually replaced them. FD
67. Les Divertissements Champêtres (Country Pastimes),
grotesque panels for the drawing room of the Château de Voré c. 1720–23 Jean-Baptiste Oudry Canvas La Promenade (Promenade): H. 364 cm; W. 78 cm (R.F. 2002–26) Le Repos (Rest): H. 364 cm; W. 78 cm (RF 2002–27) La Pêche (Fishing): H. 364 cm; W. 144 cm (RF 2002–21) La Chasse (Hunting): H. 363 cm; W. 144 cm (RF 2002–20) La Musique (Music): H. 365 cm; W. 144 cm (RF 2002–19) La Comédie Burlesque (Comical Play): H. 364 cm; W. 122 cm (RF 2002–23) Illustrated, RF 2002–26, RF 2002–19, RF 2002–27
here are very few surviving examples in France of decorative paintings in the arabesque (i.e., grotesque) style so fashionable in early eighteenth-century interiors. These nine canvases constitute a complete set, and were painted by Jean-Baptiste Oudry for the Château de Voré in the Perche region southwest of Paris. In 1719 the château became the property of Louis Fagon, son of Louis XIV’s first physician and himself an intendant of finances. Described by the court memorialist Saint-Simon as “a man of wit and ability,” Fagon had been named in 1715 to the regency’s Conseil des Finances, which functioned as a finance ministry overseeing tax and estate affairs. It was probably shortly after buying the château that Fagon commissioned Oudry, a young animal painter who was already highly appreciated, to decorate the interior of his residence in the fashion of the day. These nine canvases graced an Italian-style drawing room (grand salon) on the second floor, lit by six casement windows overlooking the exterior. The overall effect must have been dazzling. Painted on a plain white ground edged with pink and gold, and dotted with naturalistic details—birds, garlands of flowers, and various implements delightful in their selection and exquisite in their handling—these pictures respect a decorative principle developed by Claude III Audran in the early eighteenth century. The upper, more stylized, part gradually gives way to a tree-studded garden that occupies the entire lower part of the canvas. Figures are set in groves and arbors in an undeniably charming style of genre painting inspired by Antoine Watteau. Each painting shows a country pastime under the aegis of a classical-style figure depicted in the center of a medallion above. Eight of the canvases form four pairs, each pair having a medal-
La Danse (Dancing): H. 364 cm; W. 122 cm (RF 2002–22) La Collation (Light Refreshment): H. 364 cm; W. 90 cm (RF 2002–24) Le Jeu (Gaming): H. 364 cm; W. 90 cm (RF 2002–25) Purchased as a national treasure by the government for the Louvre in 2002 with sponsorship from PGA Holding in conformity with the tax law of January 4, 2002, relative to museum donations, and thanks to a gift from Nicole and Pierre Guénant. Department of Paintings, Musée du Louvre, Paris. RF 2002–19 to 27.
lion of the same color, while Music, the largest painting, was designed to occupy the central position in the room. The exact arrangement of the paintings in the drawing room is unknown. Five of them feature characters from the commedia dell’arte in scenes whose exact meaning has been lost. In Fishing, Harlequin attempts to snatch a fish caught by a young woman, while in Dancing Pierrot and Harlequin provide musical accompaniment for the dancing couple. In Light Refreshment Mezzetino pours a woman a drink while his lace-collared companion offers a toast. Meanwhile, Polichinello plays backgammon in Gaming. The strangest scene, which features Fagon’s coat of arms on the curtain (a silver sheep and gold lion beneath a golden sun, set on a blue ground), has been given the modern title of Comédie Burlesque (Comic Play): preparations for the place include a partly unrolled carpet and a monkey lighting the candles on the chandelier, as an angry bear threatens its trainer, rising on its hind legs like the lion on Fagon’s coat of arms. Meanwhile, a theatrical shepherdess milks a cow in the background. After Fagon died, the Château de Voré was acquired in 1749 by the philosopher Helvétius and his wife, forebears of the current owners. Their younger daughter revamped the secondfloor rooms sometime before 1779.The drawing room was eliminated and Oudry’s paintings went into storage until 1895, when they were reinstalled in a ground-floor sitting room, itself redecorated in 1948. A few pieces of furniture from Voré accompany this outstanding set of paintings in the Louvre, listed as a “national treasure” and purchased in 2002 with the help of sponsorship from PGA Holding and a gift from Nicole and Pierre Guénant. MC S
WOODWORK AND PAINTED INTERIORS
69. Tapestry of L’Histoire de Don Quichotte
(The Story of Don Quixote) woven for the Comte d’Argenson
Paris, c. 1732–36 After Charles-Antoine Coypel for the central pictures and the two entrefenêtres, and probably Pierre-Josse Perrot for the alentours Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, workshops of Jean Lefebvre and Michel Audran High-warp tapestry, wool and silk Le Jugement de Sancho (The Judgment of Sancho): H. 360 cm; W. 330 cm (OA 10663) Le Bal de Barcelone (The Ball at Barcelona): H. 360 cm; W. 505 cm (OA 10664) La Tête enchantée (The Enchanted Head): H. 360 cm; W. 294 cm (OA 10665) Don Quichotte à cheval (Don Quixote on Horseback): H. 360 cm; W. 93 cm (OA 10666) Sancho: H. 360 cm; W. 93 cm (OA 10667) Gift in lieu of estate taxes, 1978. OA 10663–10667 Illustrated above, OA 10664; below (detail), OA 10666; opposite, OA 10663
1. Fenaille 1903–23, III, 157–201.
hen the workshops at the Gobelins manufactory were reopened at the turn of the eighteenth century, following the official closure from 1694 to 1699 due to the financial difficulties occasioned by the War of the League of Augsburg, a new style developed. It placed great emphasis on ornament, as in the tapestries of The Portieres of the Gods or the Grotesque Months, both woven after models by Claude III Audran. Over the years, ornament became increasingly prominent in the tapestry of The Story of Don Quixote, begun at the latest in 1714. In each piece, a small central picture set in a trompe l’oeil frame was surrounded by flowers and various ornamental motifs on a ground imitating a yellow fabric with mosaic motifs, forming what was called an alentour. In the
first weaves, the compositions around the narrow pictures were vertical, based on a model by JeanBaptiste Blain de Fontenay and another by Audran. For wider pictures, Audran created more ample compositions. In 1721 the Duc d’Antin, superintendant of the Bâtiments du Roi, ordered a new tapestry. A new alentour, the general composition of which was probably by Audran, was executed by Blain de Fontenay the Younger (the flowers), Alexandre-François Desportes (the animals), and Audran (the ornament). Six different alentours were created between 1714 and 1778, with variants, so that the tapestries could be woven in keeping with fashion. Whereas, in the previous tapestries, only the borders provided scope to follow developments in taste, this new formula meant that the tapestries could be completely adapted to the new decoration. In addition, the considerable number of subjects painted by Charles-Antoine Coypel— twenty-eight in all—was conducive to the composition of highly diverse ensembles in which the story of Don Quixote was simply a pretext for light, shimmering decoration. Louis, Duc d’Orléans, son of the Regent, commissioned this hanging in five parts in 1732, paying from his own funds, in order to give it to his chancellor, Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, Comte d’Argenson. For these he requested a new alentour, probably designed by Pierre-Josse Perrot, an ornamental painter, under the direction of Coypel. This third alentour reprised many of the elements in the second, while introducing novelties such as a pink counter-ground between the yellow ground and the border simulating a gold frame.1 Two entrefenêtres were also created on this occasion, but were not subsequently rewoven: Don Quixote and Sancho, each represented on a pedestal, together with puppets. A puppeteer in the upper part seems to be manipulating these characters, as if in a theater. MH R
TAPESTRIES AND CARPETS
77. Commode delivered for Queen Maria Leszczynska’s
private study in the Château de Fontainebleau Paris, 1737 Bernard II van Risenburgh (known as BVRB) Oak carcass, fruitwood veneer, Japanese lacquer, late seventeenth-/early eighteenth-century, vernis Martin (European Japanning), gilt-bronze mounts, Sarrancolin marble top H. 85 cm; W. 127.5 cm; D. 61 cm Purchase, 1988. OA 11193
1. AN O1 3310, fol. 92v. 2. Alcouffe 1988, 281–284; Pradère 1988, 108–113; Alcouffe et al. 1993, no. 31, 102–105. 3. Pradère 1988, 112.
n September 26, 1737, the Journal of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (royal furniture depository) recorded a delivery, listed as number 1115, from Paris luxury-goods dealer Thomas-Joachim Hébert. It was described as “a commode of China wood with veneering and Japanese style lacquer, with curving front and sides, two drawers with locks in front, a top of Antin marble, enriched with mounts and ornaments of fire-gilded brass,”1 and it went to Queen Maria Leszczynska.2 Made by cabinetmaker Bernard II van Risenburgh, who stamped it, this commode bears the same Garde-Meuble inventory number and thus is the earliest positively dated piece of furniture to be adorned with a large panel of lacquerwork, which was taken from the inside cover of a Japanese coffer from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. Hébert, in fact, was one of the first merchants to come up with the idea of using Far Eastern lacquer panels to decorate this kind of furniture, as witnessed by his 1724 shop inventory, which already included a three-drawer commode covered in “China varnish”; Hébert also was the first to specialize in Japanese lacquerwork. Given the meager commercial exchanges with Japan—on whose trade the Dutch held a monopoly—the already precious and costly lacquerware became even more so after 1745, according to contemporary expert Edme-François Gersaint, who said such pieces were “very rarely to be found” on the Paris market, “especially when they are old.” Therefore, apart from the central medallion and the lateral panels showing vases of flowers—which are reused pieces of Japanese lacquerwork—the overall black veneer including the two transitional floral panels is an example of European japanning, probably done by varnishers from the Martin family, also known to have worked with Hébert. Furthermore, the constraints imposed by the use of this small frontal medallion spawned a new type of commode, characterized by the lack of horizontal divider between the two drawers, by the tripartite orga-
nization of the façade (whose joins are masked by bronze mounts), and by the curvilinear apron (echoed by the refined interplay of curved outlines and elegant legs). Indeed, it represents the prototype of the commode à cartel (with central cartouche), a popular model produced in the years 1740–55 by many Paris cabinetmakers. This commode was made for Maria Leszczynska’s private study in the Château de Fontainebleau, a room located between the king’s and queen’s bedrooms, overlooking the Garden of Diana. The study, renovated at that time by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, had “modern” woodwork carved by sculptor Jacques Verberckt, and would also host a vernis-Martin corner cupboard delivered by the Martins themselves in 1738—probably Guillaume Martin—as well as “bookshelves of China-style lacquer, black ground with gold flowers in relief,” supplied in 1743 by Hébert once again.3 This highly innovative BVRB commode also betrays the growing infatuation with chinoiserie, which by that time reached the royal family as well as Paris society. The commode was still in Fontainebleau during the reign of Louis XVI, in Madame Victoire’s large study. CD
81. Commode and corner cupboard from
Madame de Mailly’s blue bedroom in the Château de Choisy Commode Paris, 1742 Mathieu Criaerd Oak carcass, fruitwood veneer, vernis Martin (European Japanning), silvered-bronze mounts, blue Turquin marble top H. 85 cm; W. 132 cm; D. 63.5 cm Donated in lieu of estate taxes, 1990. OA 11292.
Corner cupboard Paris, 1743 Mathieu Criaerd Oak carcass, fruitwood veneer, vernis Martin (European Japanning), silvered-bronze mounts, blue Turquin marble top H. 92.7 cm; W. 64.5 cm; D. 47 cm Gift of Richard Peñard y Fernández, 1951. OA 9533.
his commode bears the stamp of cabinetmaker Mathieu Criaerd and was delivered on October 30, 1742 by the luxury-goods dealer Thomas-Joachim Hébert to the Garde-Meuble (royal furniture depository). There it was assigned the inventory number 1290 and described as being “of a white varnished ground painted with blue flowers, plants, birds, and ornament” with a “top of white-veined blue Turkish marble.” It was “bombée [convex] and curvilinear, with two large drawers with locks in front, adorned with chased, silver-plated bronze cartouches, keyhole escutcheons, knobs, handles, feet and mounts.”1 Conceived as a commode à cartel (commode with central cartouche) free of horizontal divider, with a tripartite frontal decoration inspired by one with true Japanese lacquer made by Bernard II van Risenburgh and delivered by the same Hébert to Queen Maria Leszczynska in 1737 (see catalogue no. 77), this commode is noteworthy above all for its prodigious monochrome blue decoration against a white ground, painted in oil then varnished and burnished, perfectly illustrating the technical virtuosity that Parisian artists had attained in imitating Far Eastern lacquers.2 The panels with large foliate motifs enlivened by peacocks and birds in flight—actually evoking “Indian” calicoprint fabrics more than Chinese decoration— convey the exotic ambiance of a whimsical Far East made popular by artists such as Alexis Peyrotte, Christophe Huet, and indeed François Boucher, who in 1742 did ten sketches for a Chinese Tapestry series woven by the Beauvais manufactory. The panels were painted by an unknown artist and probably japanned by Guillaume Martin, who occasionally delivered items to the GardeMeuble (royal furniture depository) and also worked for Hébert.3 For that matter, Hébert should be credited with the overall conception of the commode and especially its extraordinary
1. AN, O1 3313, fol. 99v. 2. Alcouffe et al. 1993, nos. 43–44, 144–149; Alcouffe 1995, 134–136. 3. Wolvesperges 2000, 104–105, 330. 4. Richelieu 1791, 94. 5. Pompadour 1830, I, 101.
silvered-bronze mounts that perfectly match the colors of the piece. The commode was designed to fit harmoniously into the “blue bedroom” in the apartment that Louis XV furnished in 1742 in the Château de Choisy (bought in 1739) for his mistress of the day, Louise-Julie de Mailly-Nesle. The Comtesse de Mailly “loved only the king”4 and, “like another Lavallière,” had spun for her august lover the silk that was used to weave the blue and white watered silk lining the walls, bed, and chairs of this new bedroom. Unfortunately, “kind Mailly,” as Madame de Pompadour5 dubbed her, lost favor in November 1742 and was unable to enjoy the costly furniture. However, the furnishing continued and in January 1743, Hébert delivered
two writing tables, a desk with tiered drawers, and four corner cupboards for the same apartment. One of cupboards, also made by Criaerd and given the same blue and white decoration as the commode, along with similar silvered bronzes, was inventoried by the Garde-Meuble as number 1294 and is also now in the Louvre. During the reign of Louis XVI the commode was placed in the apartment of Madame Royale (the king’s daughter) in Versailles, while the cupboard— restored by Guillaume Benneman—was placed in the study of Madame Elisabeth (the king’s younger sister) in Fontainebleau. Both were sold off during the French Revolution. CD
88. Pair of Chinese porcelain vases mounted
as ewers with handles adorned with dragons Vases: celadon-glaze porcelain highlighted with blue and white decoration, China, Kangxi period (1662-1722) Mounts: gilt bronze, Paris, c. 1730–40 H. 60 cm; W. 25.5 cm; D. 20 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1901. OA 5151
ne of the greatest commercial triumphs of the eighteenth-century Parisian luxurygoods dealers known as marchands merciers was the transformation of Oriental vases of often simple shape into stunningly decorative pieces through the addition of gilt-bronze mounts. This type of baluster vase with high belly was known in the eighteenth century as a lisbet or lisbée, while the olive-green celadon glaze with large blue and white decorative motifs was considered unusual. Several other examples of this type of decoration are known, but none were applied to vases of this shape. The great popularity of these pieces stems from the particularly spectacular design of the handles in the form of magnificent dragons. This highly successful design can been seen, with sundry variations, on several other vases that differ in shape and decoration. The idea of transforming decorative celadonware (or greenware) into ewers with dragonhandle mounts was obviously greatly appreciated by eighteenth-century collectors, because the catalogue of the sale of the famous porcelain lover Louis-Jean Gaignat featured at least two pairs, made from crackled celadon glaze vases of the same type as the two ewers described below (following catalogue entry). A third pair of dragon-handled ewers was included in the same sale, but it was of purple porcelain and of a distinct type—that famous pair was owned by the Duc d’Aumont and then by Marie-Antoinette, but its mounts were redone to meet late eighteenthcentury fashion, so it lost its dragons.1
These vases entered the collection of the French crown on the orders of Louis XVI, who intended them for the future Muséum and thus had them purchased at the Duc d’Aumont’s posthumous estate sale (see catalogue no. 188). They are probably the ones mentioned as early as 1766 in the inventory of Jean de Jullienne,2 a great art collector of the first half of the eighteenth century. Jullienne was a friend of Antoine Watteau and commissioned famous sets of engravings based on Watteau’s paintings (see catalogue nos. 19, 30, and 184). We thus have an exceptional opportunity to imagine these vases in their setting. In a room lined with green taffeta adjoining the gallery of Jullienne’s lavish residence, they were placed not only alongside many other pieces of porcelain but also among items brought together in a way that perfectly typified the associations sought by Paris collectors early in the second half of the eighteenth century: a set of furniture by André-Charles Boulle (a pair of armoires decorated with figures of the seasons, a console table, and two gueridons), a desk and coffer of Japanese lacquer, a Coromandel-lacquer shell collection case, a table of pietre dure (stone inlay), and an intriguing little chandelier of copper heightened with blue enamel decoration, which is probably the one now held by the Louvre (see catalogue no. 30).3 The paintings that hung in the room included two famous works: Philips Wouwerman’s Large Stag Hunt (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg), and Watteau’s Love Disarmed (Musée Condé, Chantilly).4 FD
1. Lugt, no. 1734, February 14, 1769, lots 83, 92, 102. 2. Wolvesperges, in Paris exh. cat. 2007, no. 47, 165. 3. AN, MC, XXIX, 529, March 25, 1766. 4. Alcouffe et al. 2004, no. 40, 89.
90. Clock adorned with two river figures in enameled biscuit Paris, c. 1750 (clock) Mennecy, 1754 (biscuit figures) Gilt bronze, porcelain, glass H. 69 cm; W. 57 cm; D. 32.5 cm Baronne Salomon de Rothschild bequest, 1922. OA 7605
his large clock in gilt bronze is formed by a tree trunk supporting a cylindrical dial which leaves the movement visible. Gilt bronze foliage and flowers in white porcelain heightened with color fan out from the trunk and surround the dial. On the broad asymmetrical pedestal in chased gilt bronze are two figures in white enameled porcelain. The figure of the nymph, or naiad, is a close variant of the bather,1 a clearly identified model produced by the Vincennes manufactory from 1752. It most likely corresponds to a second model on the same theme created for the manufactory by the sculptor Louis Fournier.2 The creation of a pendant, the river, at Vincennes, is attested as of February 3, 1756 by a cash sale of “the figure representing a river”3 for 30 livres. However, it would seem that the figure for this model, which also decorates the Louvre clock, cannot be assigned to the Vincennes factory, for this one still displays the words
“GAURON 1754.” Nicolas-François Gauron was a sculptor at the Mennecy manufactory, and there is absolutely no evidence that he also worked at Vincennes. These considerations, further supported by the existence of a similar Mennecy-produced model now at the Victoria and Albert Museum, indicate Mennecy as the origin for the Louvre’s version. This clock graced the hall of Baronne Salomon de Rothschild’s townhouse in rue Berryer, Paris. Given its preciousness and fragility, it was kept in a display case. Bequeathed in 1922 to French Museums, it was estimated at the time at the considerable sum of 80,000 francs. Unlike other artworks in her huge collection, this clock was not inherited from her father, Baron Mayer Carl de Rothschild of Frankfurt, nor did it feature in the posthumous estate inventory of her husband. It was therefore most likely acquired by the baroness herself. GS
1. Paris, Musée du Louvre, OA 7240. 2. Paris exh. cat. 1977–78, 152–153, 166. 3. Paris exh. cat. 1977–78, 166.
94. Clock, La Création du Monde (The Creation of the World) Paris, 1754 François-Thomas Germain, sculptor, Claude-Siméon Passemant, engineer, and Joseph-Léonard Roques, clockmaker Wood, enamel, gilt bronze H. 143 cm; W. 83 cm; D. 73 cm On long-term loan from the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, 2011. VMB 1036–1
his clock of The Creation of the World was commissioned by Joseph-François Dupleix, the governor-general of the French East Indies company, as a gift for the Nabab of Golconda. Perceived by some of his contemporaries as an ambitious adventurer, Dupleix was above all an artisan of French colonial power, becoming the greatest of the country’s colonial governors. In 1741 he married a famous Creole woman of Portuguese stock, Jeanne Albert de Castro, who was able to establish good relations with local potentates and was also very popular among the residents of Chandernagor and Pondicherry, who called her Joanna Begum (Lady Jeanne). This clock is a perfect example of the diplomatic gifts that the king of France and his representatives sent to foreign monarchs. It was a collaborative effort on the part of engineer Claude-Siméon Passemant, clockmaker JosephLéonard Roque (or Roques), and the goldsmith and bronzeworker François-Thomas Germain, all three of whom had premises in the Louvre. The Creation of the World clock is the first work in bronze by Germain, who after the death of his father, the great goldsmith Thomas Germain, had been made sculptor-goldsmith to the king in 1748, and then extended his business to include bronzework, employing that metal in commissions for the Prince de Soubise, the Duchesse d’Orléans (see catalogue no. 101), and Baron Bernstorff in Copenhagen. As soon as it was finished, this clock was shown to Louis XV, an event that was reported in the Gazette de France on March 2, 1754. “The various moments of Creation [are] united from a single
point of view,” wrote the Gazette. “The earth is represented by a bronze globe 14 pouces [inches] in diameter, on which all the countries and their main cities are engraved. This globe is placed among rocks and waterfalls that serve as a universal horizon. Clouds rise behind, crowned by a large bronze sun three feet in diameter.The clock is set in its center….”1 The seven known planets of the solar system were configured in their respective positions in the sky, along with the moon. The earth rotates, and its poles incline as a function of the position of the sun.The clock gives the length of days, the succession of the seasons, and the exact time on every point on the globe. The original pedestal featured “four term figures placed at the four corners, enriched with laurel wreaths, moldings, and acanthus leaves of bronze.” The clock was never delivered to Dupleix, who was recalled to France that year at the request of the royal minister, Jean-Baptiste de Machault d’Arnouville. He spent the rest of his life in a lavish residence on rue des Capucines in Paris. The clock was still in Germain’s possession in 1767, but it was bought at an unknown date by the Dupleix family, for it was mentioned in the home of Dupleix’s nephew, GuillaumeJoseph Dupleix de Bacquencourt, the intendant of Burgundy. Sold at the Buillon auction house in 1791, it was purchased by clockmaker Antide Janver, who sold it to the government in 1796. In 1834, cabinetmaker Alexandre-Louis Bellangé made another pedestal—of carved, gilded wood—on which the clock was displayed at the Château de Versailles. DB
1. Perrin 1993, 234–235.
106. Floral patterned pot à oille (tureen) and platter Sceaux, c. 1760–65 Faience with low-fired polychrome decoration Pot à oille: H. 33 cm Platter: Diam. 37.5 cm Gift of Albert Bichet, 1911. OA 6444–6445
great lover of ceramics, Louis-François de Bey created the Manufacture de Sceaux in 1748 and went into partnership with Jacques Chapelle, a Parisian chemist. Both placed themselves under the protection of Louis XIV’s daughter-in-law, Anne-Bénédicte de BourbonCondé, Duchesse du Maine, the owner of the Domaine de Sceaux. Through her they hoped to obtain a royal privilege allowing them to produce porcelain like that of Vincennes, but her disgrace scotched these ambitions. This princess of the blood was nevertheless behind the fleurde-lis marks found on Sceaux’s low-fired faience, dubbed japonnée (Japan-style) and designed to compete with the porcelain that this manufactory did not have the authorization to produce. This tureen bears a mark now attributed to the 1755–63 period. It was made to serve the first of five courses comprising the service à la française, namely oille, a ragout consisting of a spicy mixture of meats and vegetables,1 which is thought to have been introduced into France by two queens from Spain, Anne and Maria Theresa of Austria. The example in the Musée du Louvre belongs to a service in
Sceaux faience, from which a second pot à oille2 and another tureen3 are in the Musée de l’Ilede-France. Their forms seem to have been a faience design—especially the combed effects and the pinched sides—but the finials on their covers recall certain pieces of silver tableware such as the pots à oille by Louis Regnard4 held at the Musée du Louvre. This ensemble in faience also recalls a set commissioned from Jacques Roëttiers in 1766 for the royal table, comprising pots à oille whose handles were decorated with “groups of vegetables, oysters, cauliflowers, onions.” The Louvre’s tureen and platter display “fine quality”(i.e. non-outlined) painted decoration of large bouquets of several types of flowers, probably copied from prints after Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer. A broad palette of colors, comprising French blue, red, purple, and pink—thanks to Cassius purple (see catalogue no. 109)—and two shades of green and amber yellow, was applied to the enamel. This has a feature specific to Sceaux: trésaillures (fine crazing). The rims of the pot à oille and its platter are delicately gilded, which helped them to compete with porcelain. NF
1. Caraccioli 1768, II, 146–147. 2. Musée de l’Ile-de-France, Sceaux, inv. 94.24.1 and 2. 3. Musée de l’Ile-de-France, Sceaux, inv. 78.14.1. 4. OA 10366–10367.
114. “Bolognese” dog Germany, Meissen, c. 1733 Attributed to Johann Gottlieb Kirchner Hard-paste porcelain H. 43 cm; W. 37 cm; D. 34 cm. Comte Isaac de Camondo bequest, 1911. OA 6501
nlike the many figures of bulldogs or pugs, which tend to form pairs, the Louvre’s Bolognese spaniel is more unusual because designed on its own, without a companion. The immediate, tremendous success of this animal when represented in Meissen porcelain went hand in hand with the eighteenth-century fashion for these small pets—the breed was associated with a fantastic Chinese animal—among the wealthier classes. This example shows the animal sitting, its coat surprisingly ruffled, and its expression acute and remarkably expressive. The jaws are slightly open and the tongue is sticking out, as if to indicate its constant back and forth movement, then there is the subtle poly-
chrome of its coat and, the height of refinement, the pink and gold collar. Its charm is thus bound up with its extraordinary realism, executed in an almost exaggerated and nearly human way. Its similarities with the pair at the Porzellansammlung in Dresden1 and with the one shared between the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York2 and a private collection point to an attribution to sculptor Johann Gottlieb Kirchner. Working in close collaboration with Johann Joachim Kändler, Kirchner strove constantly to renew the range of animal creations at Meissen. As for the date of our Bolognese spaniel, it cannot be later than 1733, the year its likely creator was dismissed. GS
1. Albiker 1935, nos. 256– 257, 124, illus. pl. LXII. 2. Gift of R. Thornton Wilson in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson, inv. 1954–55.
127. Tea and chocolate service presented to Queen
Maria Leszczynska on the occasion of the birth of the Dauphin Paris, 1729–30 Henri-Nicolas Cousinet Oak coffer, rosewood veneer, 16 pieces in silver gilt, 4 pieces in Chinese porcelain, 6 pieces in Japanese porcelain, ebony, ebonized wood Coffer: H. 21 cm; W. 56.5 cm; D. 44.5 cm Gift of the Société des Amis du Louvre with the cooperation of Stavros S. Niarchos, 1955. OA 9598
1. Bottineau 1958, no. 74, 57–61. 2. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photography; Robert de Cotte collection Le 39 res.
superb example of rococo silverwork, Maria Leszczynska’s tea and chocolate service is one of the few surviving examples of a French royal commission from the eighteenth century. The pieces1 are presented in a coffer with trellis marquetry work in rosewood. They provide everything needed (hence the French name, nécessaire) to enjoy tea or chocolate, those exotic drinks that had been so popular in the West since the late seventeenth century: a teapot, a sugar bowl, and two scalloped cups in Japanese porcelain, a tea caddy, a strainer; a chocolate pot and its alcohol burner, a grinder, a flask and a tinder box, two cups in Chinese porcelain with silvergilt mounts, their cylindrical form suited to the foamy chocolate obtained with the ebony whisk used during the preparation.
The dolphin motif, the 1729–30 hallmark, and the worn but still partially legible arms of the queen support the hypothesis that this was a gift from King Louis XV to his wife for the eagerly desired birth of the Dauphin, his fourth child and first son, on September 4, 1729. At the queen’s death in 1768 the service was kept in her grand cabinet (private sitting-room) in Versailles; in accordance with the custom at the French court, it was then attributed to Anne-Claude d’Arpajon, Comtesse de Noailles, Duchesse de Mouchy, one of the queen’s ladies in waiting. This saved it from the melting down of metal carried out during the Revolutionary period. It belonged, successively, to Madame de Quercis, the Marquis da Foz (Lisbon), and the Chabrière-Arlès collection. The extremely virtuoso rococo decoration of shells, coral, flowers, and palms is characteristic of French gold of the 1730s. The garlands of flowers decorating the rim of the burner echo similar, naturalistic floral motifs found on designs by Thomas Germain for the mirror of Maria Leszczynska’s dressing table, no longer extant, dating from 1726.2 The maker, Henri-Nicolas Cousinet, belonged to an illustrious dynasty of Parisian goldsmiths known since the seventeenth century. His grandfather René Cousinet had contributed to commissions of silverware for Louis XIV, and his brother, Ambroise-Nicolas, maker of the figures for the centerpiece of the Duke of Aveiro, dating from 1757–58 and kept at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon. Apart from the eminent position that the service occupies in the production of royal goldand silversmiths, it is also a perfect example of the creations made under the aegis of Parisian luxury-goods dealers. These “merchants of everything and makers of nothing” created fashions and loved to combine different, often exotic materials. They instigated many of the most refined creations of the eighteenth century. CG
The Neoclassical Trend 1760-92
Woodwork and painted interiors 368
Tapestries and carpets 380
Faience and porcelain 476
Precious metalwork, watches, and snuffboxes 494
148. Wood paneling with grotesque decoration Paris, c. 1770–75 Carved, painted and gilded wood; terracotta; mirror H. below cornice: 315 cm Gift of Guerrand-Hermès, in memory of Aline GuerrandHermès, 2011. OA 12375
T 1. Dilke 1898, 6; Rousset-Charny 1990, 162; Richard 1992, 76; Pons 1995, 47.
his ensemble is composed of several components: a double door painted with grotesque motifs (arabesques), the surround for a pier mirror, two panels carved with interlacing foliage, two overdoors with medallions (one of which contains a sculpted bas-relief after Clodion), and a window setting including casement and inner shutters. Its refined style
evokes the finest Parisian interiors of the 1770s, such as the Aumont townhouse by PierreAdrien Pâris (1775–77), the Bagatelle pavilion by François-Joseph Bélanger (1777), and the Grimod de La Reynière residence by CharlesLouis Clérisseau (1778–80). Its decoration is a magnificent example of the craze for antiquity that swept through Paris at the time, characterized by smoking cassolettes (incense braziers), cornucopias, mermaids, and garlands of myrtle. This woodwork is traditionally considered to have come from the Paris home of MarieMadeleine Guimard, one of the greatest dancers of her day, equally famous for her notorious affairs with, among others, the prince de Soubise and the composer Jean-Benjamin de Laborde, who was also a tax farmer and first valet to the king’s bedchamber. Guimard’s townhouse, built by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux between 1770 and 1773 on Chaussée-d’Antin in Paris, represented a veritable manifesto of the most advanced stylistic trends. Its carved decoration was executed by Ledoux’s usual associates, JeanBaptiste Feuillet and Joseph Métivier. Some of the painted decoration was done by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. This woodwork now in the Louvre has not yet yielded all its secrets, though its high quality may denote a prestigious source. Parts of it are clearly missing—two panels similar to the ones here were formerly detached and are now in a private collection. It is very probable that it originally had additional, as yet unidentified, components. Nor are we sure that it is entirely homogeneous. Examination has revealed detectibly different hands and techniques, which suggest that it may come from different rooms. Its provenance is based on a tradition dating back to collector Jacques Doucet, who decorated the boudoir of his Rue Spontini residence with this woodwork in the early twentieth century.1 However, study of documents relating to Guimard’s Chaussée-d’Antin home have not yet produced a specific identification of these elements. It is possible that they came from a pavilion that Guimard owned in Pantin. For lack of precise information on how the various components were originally arranged, their current display makes no claim to historical accuracy. FD
149. Decorative panels from the second cabinet turc
(Turkish study) of the Comte d’Artois at Versailles Versailles, 1781 Attributed to Jean-Siméon Rousseau and Jules-Hughes Rousseau, painters and sculptors Oak, oil paint Upper door panels: H. 81 cm; W. 60 cm Lower door panels: H. 70 cm; W. 60 cm Full panels: H. 311 cm; W. 41 cm On long-term loan from the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, 2011. SSN 350–355; V 3071, V 3072, V 3073
1. Paris exh. cat. 1988, 86–93; Gautier 2010, 29–54.
ouis XVI and his younger brother, Monsieur, enjoyed serious, or even cerebral pursuits, unlike their youngest brother, Charles-Philippe, Comte d’Artois (born in 1757, the future Charles X), whose frivolity both entertained and alarmed the royal family. Very fashionconscious, the Comte d’Artois shared the tastes of the Parisian aristocracy. It was, moreover, in Paris that he found all the dissolute activities necessary, as regards dance and shows, where he sometimes went accompanied by the queen, his sister-in-law. Although she was warned about the bad influence of her “turbulent” brotherin-law, Queen Marie-Antoinette seems to have enjoyed the young prince’s company. In the late 1770s, both of them succumbed to the fashion for the Turkish style, the latest manifestation of French interest in the East; the queen had rooms decorated in this style at Fontainebleau and the Comte d’Artois in Paris and Versailles. At Versailles, it was in the southern wing where he had his apartments that the Comte d’Artois had two cabinets turcs installed, the first around 1775 and the second in 1781 (see catalogue nos. 179 and 180).1 These panels were executed for the doors of the second study, which oddly enough also served as a library. The panels of the upper sections are the most richly decorated: in their centers are painted decoration of scenes with Turkish subjects (odalisques, sultans, camel) in grisaille on a blue ground surrounded by arabesque style decoration, while the simpler lower panels are decorated with arabesques and hybrid figures on solid grounds. Two other door panels from this set have been identified. They were given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by John Pierpont Morgan in 1906 and came from the Hoentschel collection. The circumstances of the departure from Versailles of these eight panels are unknown. There seem to be stylistic similarities
with the doors said to be “Mademoiselle Guimard’s” (see preceding catalogue entry). In both cases, the upper section of each leaf is adorned with a painted medallion on a blue ground. Were they by the same hand? In any case, the “Guimard” doors perhaps allow us to imagine what the complete doors of the Comte d’Artois were like. The count’s doors attest to inventiveness and imaginativeness that were rare at the Bâtiments du Roi and suggest that an ornamenter-architect helped design the second cabinet turc of the Comte d’Artois. The Comte d’Artois’ cabinets turcs in Paris and Versailles have since disappeared, except for a few woodwork panels and items of furnishing. Only the queen’s cabinet turc, still at Fontainebleau, bears witness to this fashion (see catalogue no. 199). Cy D
153. Tentures de François Boucher (The François Boucher Tapestries),
four tapestries woven for the Duchesse de Bourbon’s bedchamber in the Lassay residence Paris, c. 1775 After François Boucher and Maurice Jacques Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, workshop of Jacques Neilson Low-warp tapestry, wool and silk H. 440 cm; W. 300 cm (OA 5118 and 5119) H. 440 cm; W. 360 cm (OA 5120 and 5121) Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1901. OA 5118–5121
1. Fenaille 1903–23, IV, 225. 2. Inv. BK–06655–A-F 3. Baulez in Paris exh. cat. 1987, 46. 4. Thiéry 1787, II, 601.
n 1764 Louis XVI sold to the Prince de Condé the lavish residence that his grandmother, the Duchesse de Bourbon, had built on the left bank of the Seine at the very end of Faubourg Saint-Germain, and which is still called the Palais Bourbon today. In subsequent years the prince, who felt constrained by the enclosed nature of his old family property on rue de Condé, put together a vast estate that stretched as far as today’s Esplanade des Invalides. This truly palatial complex—then unrivaled in Paris—could be divided into three main buildings. There was the Palais Bourbon itself, which constantly underwent renovation work following its purchase and which never housed the prince himself. Then there was the Hôtel de Lassay, the former Lassay residence purchased in 1768, into which the prince soon moved, and which was also home to his son and daughter-inlaw, the Duc and Duchesse de Bourbon. Finally, there was a third townhouse, misleadingly dubbed petits appartements (“private apartments,” see catalogue no. 150), built 1771–72 to designs by Claude Billard de Bellisard for the prince’s daughter, Mademoiselle de Condé, although the prince himself wound up living there when the young woman decided in 1780 to move into a residence designed for her by AlexandreThéodore Brongniart on rue Monsieur, still known today as the Hôtel de Mademoiselle de Condé. The set of tapestries here, known as the François Boucher Tapestries, were one of the most popular series made by the Gobelins manufactory in the eighteenth century.1 The idea of tapestries that depicted paintings set against a colored ground apparently came from Jacques-Germain Soufflot, who was appointed director of the manufactory in 1755; the decision to weave backgrounds imitating damask wall fabric stemmed from an idea mooted when the Don Quixote series was produced in 1760. Maurice Jacques designed the magnificent borders that greatly contribute to
the originality of this new series, while Boucher was commissioned to supply the cartoons for the medallions. The weaving was done in Jacques Neilson’s low-warp workshop. Producing tapestries that imitated paintings hanging against a damask-lined wall may seem paradoxical, but it reflected the reticence of owners of private homes to burden their interiors with vast, often costly, compositions with figures and imagery felt to be too serious and above all incompatible with recent developments in interior layout, which increasingly tended to reduce the size of individual rooms. This approach also allowed for the possibility, when required, of updating the style of the borders and/or adapting them to the size of the wall where they were to hang. Boucher’s name was a guarantee of popularity. The choice of subjects depicted in the medallions was rather loose, ranging from mythology to Tasso’s poems via pastoral scenes. This vagueness is reflected in the uncertainty over the title to be attributed to the series, variously cited as Metamorphoses, as The Elements, or as The Loves of the Gods, or more simply—and accurately—as the François Boucher Tapestries, which settles the issue. The Duchesse de Bourbon’s set was woven around 1775. Three of the four medallions here illustrate loves of the gods, while the fourth is taken from the story of Psyche. The borders incorporate Jacques’ second design, which differs slightly from the initial version. The commission also included hangings for the bed and upholstery for the chairs in the room; the Louvre owns several components of the bed hangings, including canopy, back, and part of the decoration of the tester, while the upholstery for the chairs is currently in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.2 The carving on the bed, done by Charles Lachenait, was highly original—initially designed for the Prince de Condé, it featured large figures representing Immortality and the Spirit of War, enriched with palms, laurels, swords, and helmets.3 This not very feminine decoration, combined with the pink tapestries devised by Jacques and Boucher, suggests that we should be cautious regarding the question of the overall coherence of eighteenth-century interiors. The bed was sufficiently startling to be hailed by Luc-Vincent Thiéry, over ten years after it was completed, as being “of a new genre,”4 although without specifying the nature of that “genre.” FD
159. Roll-top desk decorated with porcelain plaques Paris, c. 1768–70 Jean-François Leleu Oak carcass, tulipwood veneer, marquetry of barberry wood, hollywood, maple burr, and boxwood on brownstained maple, gilt bronze H. 105 cm; W. 98.5 cm; D. 53.5 cm Porcelain plaques: soft-paste porcelain, Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres, 1767 and 1768 Gift in lieu of transfer taxes, 1990. OA 11295
he French cabinetmaker Jean-François Leleu trained in Jean-François Oeben’s workshop at the Arsenal in Paris. Having become a master in 1764, he had hoped to succeed Oeben but lost out to his rival, Jean-Henri Riesener. Leleu then set up on rue RoyaleSaint-Antoine, becoming a supplier to famous connoisseurs such as the Marquis de Laborde (who lent money to the court), the Duc d’Uzès, and, from 1772 onward, the Prince de Condé. After having employed transitional-style decoration on his early furniture, Leleu swiftly abandoned that approach in favor of a strict neoclassical aesthetic.
Unlike Riesener, Leleu did not run afoul of the Revolution and was able to continue doing business into the Empire period. Decorating furniture with porcelain plaques was rare for Leleu (unlike Martin Carlin, who made it one of his specialties). In the Almanach général des marchands du royaume of 1799 Leleu was listed as a “marquetry cabinetmaker.”1 The flowing line of the frieze rail and the curving legs of this desk imitate the design of a bureau à cylindre (roll-top desk) begun by Oeben for Louis XV in 1760 and finished by Riesener in 1769 (now in Versailles). The desk is fitted with a sliding writing table and five drawers at the level of the frieze rail. The desk’s rigid roll top features marquetry depicting a quiver and arrows, a torch, and a wreath and garland of flowers, imitating the motifs on the plaques of Sèvres porcelain set on the lower front and sides of the desk. By flaunting his exceptional technical mastery of marquetry, Leleu was apparently trying to rival the porcelain artist. The twenty-six plaques, affixed by bronze molding, bear the Sèvres date letters for the years 1767–68. The back and flat crown of the desk were given a marquetry mosaic of barberry wood rosettes against a maplewood ground. Bronze mounts in a classicizing taste are combined with naturalistic elements still reflecting a rococo aesthetic. Three sides of the flat crown are ringed by an openwork gallery. The desk once belonged to the Barons Hillingdon (who collected other porcelain-decorated furniture now in the Metropolitan Museum in NewYork). Another desk by Leleu, almost similar to the one in the Louvre, is held by the Huntington Collection in San Marino (California). DB
1. See Pradère 1898, 334. 2. Alcouffe et al. 1993, no. 60, 190–193; Nouvelles Acquisitions… 1990–94, 1995, no. 49, 138–139.
160. Pair of low cabinets with pietre-dure marquetry
once owned by the Duc d’Aumont
Paris, c. 1770 Joseph Baumhauer Oak carcass, ebony veneer, première-partie marquetry of tortoiseshell, brass, and pewter, pietre-dure panels, gilt-bronze mounts, Brocatelle marble H. 102 cm; W. 77.7 cm;. D. 49.3 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1901. OA 5448–5449 Illustrated, OA 5448
he Duc d’Aumont was clearly not interested in furniture by André-Charles Boulle. He could have easily acquired a good deal of it from the quantity that came onto the Paris market in the 1770s, but he did not. The section of his posthumous auction devoted to what was called “curious marquetry furniture” included only six items, none of which is a piece that can be ascribed to the famous cabinetmaker.1 Two big cabinets allegedly “made by Boulle” were in fact the legendary pieces made by Domenico Cucci for Louis XIV in the preceding century—“extremely large cabinets” with spiraling columns and lapis-like tortoiseshell decoration—that the duke had acquired from the French crown in 1751. They would soon vanish from sight.
On the other hand, mention was made of two pieces of furniture “in first-part brass and pewter marquetry” that turn out to be items set with pietre-dure (inlay of hard stones), described as “the most perfect Florentine workmanship showing birds, branches, flowers, and fruit.” This was typical of the taste of clients that luxurygoods dealers had been supplying for a decade by dismantling and reusing fragments of large stone-inlay cabinets from the previous century (see catalogue no. 168). It is unfortunately now impossible to reconstitute the way the interiors of Aumont’s residence on Place Louis XV (today Place de la Concorde) were furnished, for by the time the inventory of his collection was drawn up the items had been moved and grouped into categories in order to facilitate the listing. This pair of cabinets was executed by Joseph Baumhauer, probably at the initiative of ClaudeFrançois Julliot or Jean-Baptiste Pierre Lebrun. Baumhauer (died in 1772) was a key figure in the stylistic shift toward neoclassicism. He specialized in making lavish furniture for the luxurygoods dealers, creating them in highly varied styles— ranging from the opulent rococo taste of the 1750s to the strictest neoclassicism—and employing equally varied techniques including veneering, marquetry, lacquerwork, porcelain plaques, and Boulle marquetry. It is therefore not surprising to see him attempt here a perfectly successful combination of pietre dure and Boulle marquetry on these low cabinets, a highly popular piece of furniture from the 1770s onward.The Comte de Vaudreuil had a similar pair of cabinets in his residence on rue de la Chaise in 1787. The ones owned by the Duc d’Aumont, however, were bought by the king at Aumont’s estate sale and have remained in the national collection ever since. FD
1. Lugt, no. 3488, December 12, 1782.
165. Commode delivered for the apartments of Madame du Barry
at the Château de Versailles, then at the Château de Louveciennes Paris, 1772 Martin Carlin Oak carcass, veneer of pearwood, rosewood, and kingwood, top in white marble, gilt-bronze mounts, porcelain, mirror H. 82.5 cm; W. 119 cm; D. 48 cm Porcelain plaques: soft-paste porcelain, Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine, Sèvres, 1765, Charles-Nicolas Dodin, painter Donated in lieu of estate taxes, 1990. OA 11293
lthough it bears no stamp, this extraordinarily luxurious commode is without a doubt the work of Martin Carlin. It was delivered to Madame du Barry on August 21, 1772 by the luxury-goods dealer Simon-Philippe Poirier for the bedchamber in her apartments at Versailles, but was swiftly transferred to her bedchamber at the Château de Louveciennes, where it is mentioned in the inventory of 1793.1 The structure of this piece with three leaves, the central one salient with an overhang, is characteristic of this cabinetmaker’s work. The commode has a veneer in pearwood and opulent decoration in gilt bronze comprising scrolling foliage on the frieze rail, a female mask and a lion mask flanking the central leaf, sprays with women’s heads wreathed in laurel in the four upper corners and strapwork of acanthus and flowers underscoring the curve of the legs. This sumptuous ornamentation very effectively sets off the quality of the five porcelain plaques that have made this commode famous. On the façade, the three (unsigned) plaques were executed after relatively old paintings by Jean-Baptiste Pater (Pleasant Company, on the central plaque) and Nicolas Lancret (By a Tender Little Song and Gallant Conversation on the left and right-side plaques). The flirtatious badinage depicted in these three scenes contrasts with the two allegorical plaques on the sides, whose sources are more recent. They repre-
1. Paris exh. cat. 1995, no. 52, 144–147. 2. Versailles exh. cat. 2012, 191–193. 3. Baulez 1985, 150.
sent Comedy and Tragedy, based on two overdoor paintings executed in 1752 by Carle van Loo for Madame de Pompadour’s salon de compagnie (reception room) at the Château de Bellevue. While the three frontal plaques do not seem to be by Charles-Nicolas Dodin,2 the two side plaques do bear the painter’s “k” mark. To make them fit the commode they were extended at the top and the bottom by two small plaques of porcelain, the joins being hidden by some very handsome reliefs in gilt bronze. They were not therefore originally made to decorate a specific piece of furniture. Mentioned as “paintings” in the registers of the Travaux extraordinaires concerning Dodin in 1765, they and the central plaque are no doubt the pieces admiringly mentioned by L’Avant-Coureur on July 7, 1766.3 Madame du Barry, who was especially fond of furniture with porcelain plaques, owed her most luxurious pieces to the collaborative efforts of Carlin and Dodin: among them this commode, the gueridon in the Louvre collection (see following catalogue entry) and the writing table in the Gulbenkian collection, which she acquired in 1772. After Madame du Barry’s death at the guillotine in 1793, the commode was assigned during the French Directoire to a supply officer, Abraham Alcan, as a pledge of payment, before joining a private collection. CG
166. Pedestal table from the oval salon of Madame du
Barry’s music pavilion at the Château de Louveciennes Paris, 1774 Martin Carlin Solid mahogany, oak, kingwood veneer, gilt-bronze mounts, porcelain H. 81.7 cm; Diam. 80 cm Porcelain plaques: soft-paste porcelain, Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine, Sèvres, 1774, Charles-Nicolas Dodin, painter Purchase, 1978. OA 10658
his extraordinary pedestal table is one of the many sumptuous pieces of furniture purchased by Madame du Barry for the music pavilion built by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in 1771 in the grounds of the château at Louveciennes.1 It was delivered in 1774 by one of the most famous luxury-goods merchants of the second half of the eighteenth century, Simon-Philippe Poirier, who had the idea of decorating fine furniture with porcelain plaques. He no doubt had the idea for this table, which was probably used for taking tea in Madame du Barry’s time. Such pieces were increasingly fashionable in the last third of the eighteenth century. The top, with kingwood veneer on the underside, stands on a tripod in solid mahogany decorated with palmettes, rolls and sprays of flowers in gilt bronze. Thanks to a steel mechanism, the top can tilt forward, displaying the seven plaques as if they were an easel painting. In the spirit of the turqueries that were so popular in the eighteenth century, the central plaque reproduces The Concert of the Sultan by Carle van Loo (1737), but after Claude-Antoine Littret’s engraving of it (1766), which reversed the composition. The fashion for things Turkish was very popular after a visit from the ambassador of the Sublime Porte to Louis XV in 1721, but the 1770s saw a
renewal of interest in this kind of imagery, both in tapestry and in the interior decoration of many cabinets turcs (Turkish-style studies), those of the Comte d’Artois and Marie-Antoinette being the most famous (see catalogue nos. 149, 179, 180, and 199). The six curved plaques with a celestial-blue ground are decorated with figures against a background of landscape, surrounded by garlands of flowers. These scenes painted in the reserves were executed after Antoine Watteau.2 The maker of these plaques, Charles-Nicolas Dodin, was one of the most talented figure painters at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, where he worked from 1754 to 1803. By 1760 he was already proving a brilliant painter of the soft-paste porcelain plaques used in the manner of easel paintings or as decoration fine pieces of cabinetmaking.3 We know of two other pedestal tables by Martin Carlin, dating from 1777, which are very similar to the one at the Louvre. One is kept at the royal castle in Warsaw,4 the second in the collections of the royal palace in Madrid.5 This table was acquired by Empress Joséphine at the turn of the nineteenth century and was then part of the collections of the Barons Alphonse and Édouard de Rothschild. CG
1. Rochebrune 2002. 2. Glorieux 1999, 42–53. 3. Versailles exh. cat. 2012, 159–162. 4. Versailles exh. cat. 2012, no. 86, 200–202. 5. Madrid exh. cat. 2007– 08, no. 73, 284–285.
167. Jewelry box that once belonged to the Duchesse de Mazarin Paris, 1774 Martin Carlin Oak carcass, veneer of tulipwood and rosewood, gilt-bronze mounts Sèvres porcelain plaques H. 95 cm; W. 55.5 cm; D. 37 cm On long-term loan from the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, 2011. V 6205
he unofficial lady-in-waiting to Madame du Barry, Louise-Jeanne de Durfort de Duras, Duchesse de Mazarin, paid for her friendship with the last mistress of Louis XV, retreating from court during the reign of Louis XVI. The two women shared a similar taste for finely mounted objects and rare furniture. The Duchesse de Mazarin then devoted herself to fitting out luxuriously her Parisian townhouse, where she lived, separated from her husband, calling on the best craftsmen and luxury-goods dealers. While the death of Louis XV was synonymous with disfavor for the Comtesse du Barry, who had to part with some of her possessions, the wealthy Duchesse de Mazarin continued to place orders with luxury-goods dealers and bronzesmiths. On January 25, 1774, the luxury-goods dealer Simon-Philippe Poirier delivered this jewelry box, made by Martin Carlin, whose mark it bears, to the Duchesse de Mazarin for the sum of 1,800 livres. On a base decorated with veneer, gilt bronze, and four porcelain plaques, whose front opened with a drawer that probably contained a writing case, sits a hinged box, also decorated with gilt bronze and nine Sèvres porcelain plaques. It was located in the duchess’s
bedroom, as seemed to be the rule for this type of object, and probably remained there until her death. The Duchesse de Mazarin’s jewelry box is outstanding because of the originality and finesse of the painted decoration of its Sèvres porcelain plaques. Here, the borders of the plaques are not covered with a solid color ground, but painted with a “dotted” celestial blue (sometimes dubbed “partridge-eye ground”) characteristic of wares from the Manufacture de Sèvres during the 1770s. The centers of these plaques feature polychrome floral decoration or, in the case of the two central plaques, a more modern decoration of trophies. Purchased by the Duchesse de Mazarin’s heirs during one of her estate sales, the jewelry box only resurfaced in the second half of the nineteenth century, in the collections of Alfred de Rothschild in England. It was then acquired by Madame Léon Barzin (née Eleanor Post Close), daughter of the famous American heiress and collector Marjorie Merriweather Post, who gave it to the Château de Versailles. Cy D
177. Set of two settees with arms and eight straight-backed
armchairs (à la reine) with removable upholstery frames (à châssis) once owned by fermier général Pierre-Isaac Marquet de Peyre Frames: carved, gilded walnut Paris, c. 1770–75 Louis-Charles Carpentier, joiner Upholstery: wool and silk tapestry Paris, 1748 Manufacture Royale des Gobelins
1. Claeys 2008, I, 326–327. 2. Fenaille 1903–23, IV, 381–383. 3. Claeys 2008, II, 335–336. 4. OA 5198–5201. 5. OA 11177 6. Eriksen 1974, pl. 177–178; Pallot 1993, 116–121.
n 1748 the treasurer general of the royal household, Augustin Bouret de Villaumont,1 ordered a woven meuble (“furnishing”) from the Gobelins manufactory designed not only to upholster eight armchairs and a settee but also to go with a set of five Brussels tapestries on the theme of the Four Parts of the World (whereabouts unknown).2 The upholstery was woven just once, at the king’s expense. The cartoons for the backs of the furniture were commissioned from Charles Eisen, an illustrator of some of the finest books during Louis XV’s reign who also served for a time as Madame de Pompadour’s drawing teacher; the battle-scene artist Pierre Lenfant, less well known than his architect of a son, Pierre-Charles Lenfant (who later planned the city of Washington, D.C.), provided the cartoons for the seats. The Four Parts of the World are represented— each one twice—by human figures on the backs of the chairs and by animals on the seats: a pair of shepherds with sheep and cows symbolize Europe; a pair of Indians with a parrot and monkey represent the Americas; a “Negress” carried by two “Negroes” with two tigers emblematize Africa; and a Turk and his servant with two camels
Settees: H. 94 cm; W. 187 cm; D. 70 cm Armchairs: H. 102 cm; W. 74 cm; D. 62 cm Gift of René Grog and Madame Grog-Carven, 1973. OA 10506
represent Asia. Humans and animals appear together on the back and seat of the settee. In contrast, nothing is known of the conditions under which the joiner was commissioned to make the furniture. In 1760, only “eight backs and eight bottoms of armchairs stuffed with horsehair and upholstered with Gobelins fabric” were listed in the posthumous estate inventory of Bouret de Villaumont’s residence on rue Gaillon in Paris. In 1763 his widow married again, this time to the financier and fermier général Pierre-Isaac Marquet de Peyre,3 which probably prompted the ordering of upholstery for a second settee from the Gobelins workshop, as well as the frame from LouisCharles Carpentier. The complete suite was listed in the posthumous estate inventory of Marquet de Peyre’s rue Bergère residence, drawn up in 1779. It was located in the salon de compagnie (reception room), whose walls featured four tapestries woven for him at the Gobelins manufactory from cartoons by Charles-Antoine Coypel and Clément Belle (see catalogue no. 152).4 Carpentier, who became a master joiner on July 26, 1752, had premises on rue de Cléry in Paris. He hired excellent wood carvers, such as Charles Lachenait and Antoine Rascalon, and boasted a high-ranking clientele that included the Prince de Condé. Carpentier was one of the first craftsmen to adopt the neoclassical style. Around 1775 he delivered a set of furniture decorated with miniature painted flowers for the drawing room of Louise-Adélaïde de Bourbon-Condé in the Palais Bourbon in Paris; the Louvre holds a settee from this set.5 The cabled fluting of the tapered, lathe-turned legs, like the inward volute of the arm brackets, point to the neoclassical style.6 The elaborate line of the backs and the width of the seats still reflect rococo taste and are adapted to the dimensions of the upholstered scenes. The frames are elegantly carved with a rosette-studded guilloche pattern on the seat rail and a coin pattern on the back, designed to underscore the outstanding upholstery. DB
180. Pair of armchairs and four chairs delivered for the cabinet turc
(Turkish study) of the Comte d’Artois at the Palais du Temple Paris, 1777 Georges Jacob, cabinetmaker, Jean-Baptiste-Simon Rode, sculptor, and Jean-Gilles Ramier, painter Carved, gilded wood Modern upholstery Armchairs: H. 94 cm; W. 70 cm; D. 76 cm (OA 9987-9988) Chairs: H. 94 cm ; W. 57 cm ; D. 68 cm (OA 9989-9992) Eva Gebhard, Baronne Gourgaud, bequest, 1965. OA 9987–9992
fter the death of Louis-François de Bourbon, Prince de Conti, on August 2, 1776, at the Palais du Temple itself, the eldest son of the Comte d’Artois, Louis-Antoine, Duc d’Angoulême, became grand prior of France of the Order of Malta. He thus obtained the use of the Palais du Temple in Paris, seat of the Grand Priory. During his minority (the Duc d’Angoulême was born in 1775), it was decided that his father would occupy the palace.1 From 1777, the Comte d’Artois seized the opportunity to undertake the restoration of the old decor and add magnificent spaces by creating a cabinet turc in particular. It was all overseen by the architect Étienne-Louis Boullée and Pierre Jubault, the prince’s groom of the bedchamber and concierge. Georges Jacob was chosen to execute the woodwork of the chairs of the cabinet. The choice of the famous Burgundian cabinetmaker is worthy of note—it was the first precisely dated commission from a member of the royal family. His later favor with the queen and Monsieur, the king’s brother, in particular, is known. The chairs here stand out from their contemporaries because of their formal boldness: a pro-
nounced scroll back, “saber” legs, and armrest consoles in the form of horns of plenty make this set unique in French eighteenth-century furniture. The carved decoration, just as original, combining crescent moons and beading, was entrusted to Jean-Baptiste-Simon Rode. Georges Jacob’s faithful associate, Rode was still working for the cabinetmaker on the eve of the Revolution. The white paintwork (the gilding seen today is modern) was executed by JeanGilles Ramier. The richly decorated clock of the cabinet turc was delivered by the Lepautes. The Comte d’Artois’ chairs at the Palais du Temple were moved to the Palais du Luxembourg during the Directoire. The date and circumstances under which they left the national collections are unknown. The chairs of the Comte d’Artois’ cabinet turc at the Palais du Temple along with a sofa, probably made in the nineteenth century, were bequeathed in 1965 by Baronne Eva Gourgaud to the Musée du Louvre, where they were given yellow and silver damask upholstery true to the original fabric. Cy D
1. Pallot 1993, no. 44, 132–135.
185. Potpourri vase made from a covered bowl of Japanese porcelain
once owned by Paul Randon de Boisset, then to the Duc d’Aumont Vase: kakiemon-style porcelain, Japan, c. 1670–90 Mounts: gilt bronze, Paris, c. 1770 H. 60 cm; W. 32 cm; D. 32 cm Assigned from the Mobilier National, 1870. OA 5488
ieces of old porcelain have always been considered as necessary to the fine harmony that every art lover seeks for his study; they produce the most felicitous effect thanks to their quality and shape. How satisfying it is to the eye to see them pleasantly arranged among first-rate vases of marble and figures of bronze! The gleam of some pieces successfully enhances the serious appeal of others. The late Monsieur Randon de Boisset felt that the importance of his collections of painting and marble vases thereby called for porcelain items of the first rank.”1 Thus began the section of the catalogue of the posthumous estate sale of Paul Randon de Boisset, who had been Receveur Général des Finances for the Lyon region. This enthusiastic art lover—who was a friend of François Boucher and had his portrait painted by Jean-Baptiste Greuze—assembled what was perhaps the most impressive private collection of the eighteenth century. When it was dispersed in 1777, the sale of the collection brought in the colossal sum of 1,300,000 livres (see catalogue nos. 19 and 201). The fine antique-style tripod stand adorning this vase was almost certainly made expressly for Randon de Boisset. The vase was turned into a
1. Lugt, no. 2652, February 27, 1777, II, 32. 2. AN, MC LXXXXIV, 546, October 18, 1776. 3. Alcouffe et al. 2004, no. 119, 238.
potpourri jar, adopting the form of an ancient incense burner. A flame has been depicted at its base, between the three legs that end in lion’s paws. The openwork band separating the body of vase from its cover is adorned with branches of myrtle. A particularly elaborate finial crowns the piece. The vase itself is certainly a very fine example of kakiemon-style porcelain (see catalogue no. 32), impressive above all for its size. It was not unique of its kind, however. It appeared in the sale along with its identical pendant mounted in the same way, which disappeared in the late eighteenth century. This pair was accompanied by a second one of similar shape and mount, but of smaller size and decorated with birds and branches.The two pairs do not seem to have been part of a single set, for when Randon de Boisset’s posthumous estate inventory was drawn up the larger pair was located on the third-floor gallery while the smaller pair stood in the cabinet (study) next to the second-floor sitting room.2 The larger pair was bought by the Duc d’Aumont and later joined the royal collection, while the smaller pair was purchased by another connoisseur, the Comte de Merle.3 FD
191. Rotating-dial clock with putti Paris, c. 1770–75 Case attributed to Robert Osmond Gilt bronze, plaques of Sèvres porcelain, enameled dial H. 53.5 cm; W. 24.3 cm; D. 21 cm Donated in lieu of estate taxes, 1990. OA 11308
here were three bronzesmiths by the name of “Osmond” in the eighteenth century, but the one who marked his name on the back of the base of this piece is usually thought to be Robert Osmond who, with his nephew Jean-Baptiste, was one of the few founders who signed his works in order to protect his models. Received as a master founder in 1746, he is best known for his vase clocks with handles and his column clocks. The composition is orchestrated around the sphere in celestial-blue porcelain with gold stars. This houses the movement and has two rotating dials. It is held up by four putti, two in front and two in back. A fifth no doubt served to indicate the time but has lost his bow, while a sixth sits atop the sphere. The angel below the dial has also lost what it was holding in its left hand. There may also have been a second dove. The circular base, adorned with pilasters and laurel wreaths, rests on four claw feet. Trophies made up of scientific instruments are presented on two curving plaques of white Sèvres porcelain edged in celestial blue.This base, more sober in tone and underscored by heavy oak-leaf torus molding,is typical of the Greek style favored by Osmond in many of his works.1 This clock with its dazzlingly refined execution is highly characteristic of the neoclassicism of the final years of Louis XV’s reign, when stricter classical inspiration moderated all the swirls and putti inherited from the rococo style. CV
1. Alcouffe et al. 2004, no. 120, 132–133.
206. Pair of first-size vases ferrés Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine, Sèvres, c. 1763 From a design by Étienne-Maurice Falconet Soft-paste porcelain H. 42 cm; W. 20 cm; D. 18.5 cm Purchase, 1975. OA 10592–10593 Illustrated below (detail, OA 10953, opposite, OA 10592)
he highly innovative form of these two ornamental vases1 seems to have come from the rich imagination of Étienne-Maurice Falconet, who directed the sculpture workshop at the Sèvres royal porcelain manufactory from 1756 to 1766, when he left for Russia. A plaster model for a similar vase still exists at the manufactory. As was customary at Sèvres, a given model might be reproduced in several sizes. The vases in the Louvre are “first-size,” meaning the largest dimension. Their name, “Fontenoy antique vase ferré”—refers to the cartouches depicting incidents from the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).The four polychrome cartouches of these vases are “shackled” together (ferrés) by rings, loops and chains, and are set against a very rare pink ground marbled with blue—known as chiné—used at Sèvres in around 1760–63. The front cartouches depict battle scenes that are exactly the same as the ones found on a second pair of Duplessis-à-côtes vases.2 These are often
attributed to the painter Jean-Louis Morin. The rear cartouches contain trophies, while the two side cartouches feature intertwining crowns. The inventory of the manufactory workshops dated January 1, 1774, describes two vases “with appliqués, 1st [size], Chiné Pink, Soldiers,” estimated 1,200 livres,3 which may refer not only to the pieces here but also correspond to the two “vases ferrés”4 acquired for the same price on January 25, 1775, by Count “Zernishev.” This buyer, either Count Peter Grigorevich Chernyshev, the Russian ambassador in London, or his brother, Count Peter, plenipotentiary minister of Catherine II in 1762, may also have purchased the Louvre’s “Bachelier” vases with “raised handles,”5 which were in the possession of another Russian dignitary in 1872.6 In 1881, the auction sale of Baron Double, erstwhile owner of the Louvre’s vases ferrés, made no mention of his purchase in Paris in 1864, but ascribed to them a Russian origin.7 GS
1. For the most thorough study of this form, see Savill 1988, I, 213–216. 2. Eriksen 1968, no. 36, 104–106, illus. 3. Savill, 1988, I, 215. 4. SCC, Vy 5, fol. 218 v. 5. OA 11353–11354. Paris exh. cat. 1995, no. 82, 198–199, illus. 6. Collection de S. E. M. E. Démétry Narischkine. Premier grand-veneur de S. M. l’empereur de Russie, sale, Paris, Hôtel des Ventes, room 8, Maître Ch. Pillet (auctioneer), May 24–25, 1872, no. 112, non illus. 7. Communicated by Sylvie Legrand-Rossi.
209. Cassolette decorated with medallions,
set on a “fountain-group” pedestal
Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine, Sèvres, c. 1770 Soft-paste porcelain, soft-paste biscuit Incense burner: H. 18 cm; Diam. 20 cm Biscuit base: H. 24.5 cm; Diam. 20 cm; L. 23 cm Overall: H. 42 cm Purchase, 1954. OA 9588
1. The figurine was apparently the largest version (première grandeur) of this model. See Roth and Le Corbeiller 2000, 358. 2. Ennès 1987, 63–73. 3. SCC, Vy 4, fol. 224v. 4. SCC, Vy 5, fol. 42. 5. Paris exh. cat. 1997, 100, no. 49, illus. 6. Birioukove and Kazakevitch 2005, 89, no. 21, illus. 7. Inv. 48.954. 8. Préaud 1998, 36 and 40.
he extraordinary magnificence of the famous banquet held on May 16, 1770, to celebrate the marriage of the Dauphin (the future Louis XVI) to Marie-Antoinette, Archduchess of Austria, was faithfully reported in July 1770 by the Mercure de France. For that occasion Jean-Baptiste Bachelier at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory had created, in 1769–70, an imposing centerpiece of biscuit porcelain. Its highly complex composition combined contemporary models with allusions to antiquity and original designs. The overall centerpiece consisted of a large colonnade with, in the middle, a majestic statue of Louis XV as a Roman emperor.1 A multitude of sculptures graced the sides while six fountains were placed at the ends. Four of them, set at the corners of the colonnade, featured “three figures of Graces who embraced the pedestal of a basin from which sprang a fountain of water.” Water also “flowed from three lion’s mouths around the outside.”2 After the royal wedding, the centerpiece was returned to the manufactory and sold. The model for this pedestal of biscuit was listed in the Sèvres archives as the “fountain group” as early as March 1770. That same year, a dozen others—in addition to the one here— were made. Depending on whether or not the pedestal was crowned by a basin, the price varied between 240 and 480 livres. Thus on September 1, 1770, and in December of that same year Madame du Barry bought two at 240 livres.3 These “two groups of three naiads each, embracing a column,” were listed as item 414 in the inventory made of Madame du Barry’s
property on July 10, 1794. In December 1772 Louis XV paid 480 livres for another version of this model, “surmounted by the Bouchardon Cupid in gilded hard-paste porcelain over biscuit.”4 The Louvre’s copy henceforth serves as a base for a cassolette—or vase in the form of an incense brazier—decorated with medallions.5 Its magnificent dark blue ground is studded with dotted circles and gold beads. A horizontal band across the middle of the belly features an enameled frieze of egg molding that connects three large gilded egg-and-dart rosettes. The cover is topped by knob in reserve, crowned by a gilded rosette. A gilded band of fluting highlights the rim of the foot. Only two other vases of this type are known today, one gilded by Jean-Pierre Boulanger and now in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg,6 the other in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.7 While the late eighteenth-century provenance of this object is still unclear, a “cassolette of Sèvres porcelain supported by three figures in biscuit” that was sold in 1838 would seem to be the one here.9 After a period at Stourhead House, the magnificent home of the Hoare family, it came into the possession of Christopher Beckett Denison, as did the multi-functional table by Jean-François Oeben, (see catalogue no. 156), and the commode that Étienne Levasseur made for the Comte d’Artois, (see catalogue no. 164). The cassolette was sold along with the rest of Denison’s collection in London in 1885. Later it briefly belonged to Baron Mayer Carl von Rothschild in Frankfurt. GS
212. Punch bowl mortar Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine, Sèvres, 1761 Jean-Baptiste Nouhalier, painter Soft-paste porcelain H. 17.2 cm; Diam. 23 cm Baronne Salomon de Rothschild bequest, 1922. OA 7609
1. Séret 2006, III, no. 211, 484–489, illus. 2. SCC, Vy 3, fol. 125. 3. London, March 10, 1769, no. 18, illus. 4. SCC, Vy 3, fols. 110v–111. 5. AMAE, Journal des présents du roi, register 2095, fol. 11. 6. Washington exh. cat. 1985, no. 402, 467, illus. 7. SCC, Vy 3, fol. 118. 8. Cabinet of the late Marquis de Menars, sale, Paris, February 1782, no. 622, non illus. 9. Marquise Turgot collection, posthumous estate sale, Paris, Drouot, room 8, Maître P. Chevallier (auctioneer), April 1–2, 1887, no. 7, non illus. (sold for 1,800 francs to Charles Mannheim). Madame de Polès collection, posthumous estate sale, Paris, Galerie JeanCharpentier, Maître E. Ader (auctioneer), November 17–18, 1936, lot 66, non illus. 10. Henri Chasles collection, posthumous estate sale, Paris, Drouot, rooms 9 and 10, Maître F. Lair-Dubreuil (auctioneer), December 16–18, 1907, no. 343, non illus. 11. Oral information from Marie-Laure de Rochebrune.
mortar is a bowl used for grinding spices, in this case the spices used in punch. Like its companion punch bowl now at the Musée Ile-de-France in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat,1 this magnificent mortar with a vermiculated lapislazuli blue ground was decorated in 1761 by Jean-Baptiste Nouhalier with bouquets of flowers and fruits in the scalloped reserves. The decoration in some ways brings to mind the famous service that Louis XV presented to the Duchess of Bedford in 1763, which notably included “one punch bowl and mortar Id. [cailloutés lapis]”2 worth 720 livres. While that punch bowl is still held at Woburn Abbey, the mortar—dating from 1763 and decorated by Jacques-François Micaud—was sold.3 Between October 1, 1762 and January 1, 1763, the Duc de Praslin ordered a another “Lapis” service,4 which was given to the Duc de Nivernais on January 28, 1763,5 and also included “one punch bowl and its mortar” valued at 720 livres.
Dated 1762 and kept at Petworth House,6 it was allegedly sold by Nivernais to Lord Egremont. The decoration of all these pieces is more elaborate (the rich gold frieze on the inner edge and the bouquet of flowers in shades of blue) and therefore warrants a higher price, but the Louvre’s mortar and its punch bowl are older, suggesting an earlier delivery and giving reason to believe that they may be the “one Lapis punch bowl and mortar”7 acquired by Madame de Pompadour for 600 livres on December 25, 1762. However, there is no trace of these objects in her posthumous inventory. Her brother, the Marquis de Marigny, did own “A Sèvres bucket in porcelain, blue ground with cartouches & flowers, with semi-relief garlands in gold, 13 inches. Bowl, of the same kind, lower diameter 9 inches,”8 but this is more probably a reference to another punch bowl9 and another mortar.10 Baronne Salomon de Rothschild inherited the Louvre’s mortar from her husband.11 GS
219. Queen Marie-Antoinette’s nécessaire de voyage (traveling case) Manufacture de la rue des Boulets (or rue Amelot, known as the Duc d’Orléans factory), Paris 1787–88 Jean-Pierre Charpenat and François Joubert, silversmiths; N. Lethien, cutler; Jean-Philippe Palma, cabinetmaker Cast and chased silver, gilded copper, soft-paste porcelain, mahogany case Case: H. 19 cm; W. 82 cm; D. 48.5 cm Purchase, 1955. OA 9594
his large rectangular grained mahogany case, whose lid features a gilded copper plaque engraved with the letters MA intertwined in a laurel wreath, contains no less than ninetyfour objects in silver, crystal, porcelain, steel, ivory, and ebony, all delicately stored in a set of mahogany cases in different shapes, laid out on several levels. The inscription on the lock plate (“PALMA ÉBENISTE ET FAISEUR DE NÉCESSAIRES
PRÉSENTEMENT VIEILLE RUE DU TEMPLE EN FACE DU PALAIS CARDINAL No 34 À PARIS” / “PALMA CABINETMAKER AND MAKER OF NÉCESSAIRES PRESENTLY VIEILLE RUE DU TEMPLE OPPOSITE THE PALAIS CARDINAL NO. 34, PARIS”)
1. On the historical background, see Plinval de Guillebon 1992 (1), 166– 167 and bibliography; Dassas, in Tokyo and Kobe exh. cat. 2008, no. 137; Jestaz 2013. 2. Bottineau 1958, no. 66.
shows the pride of the supplier and maker of this set, the Parisian cabinetmaker Jean-Philippe Palma. Marie-Antoinette was very attached to this nécessaire, or travel kit, meant to ensure her improved comfort during a voyage, which played its part in the events of the Revolution.1 According to Madame Campan’s Mémoires, in April 1791, unable to take it with her during her flight and in order to allay suspicions, the queen had thought about ordering a second, identical one, under the pretence of giving it to her sister, the Duchess of Saxony-Teschen and regent of the Netherlands.
But, as the order was not ready, in the end, she sent hers in May 1791. The terrible ending, at Varennes, of the failed escape attempt of the French monarchs is known. It was this first nécessaire—which went to Lombardy in 1794, perhaps in the possession of Joséphine for a time, and was then acquired by the Origoni family in 1804—that entered the Louvre in 1955. The second nécessaire, described in a revolutionary inventory when it was brought to the Monnaie (mint) in December 1794, is now in the Musée International de la Parfumerie de Grasse. Both of them, signed by Palma some years apart, feature the same characteristics and their content is similar, except for slight differences in the decoration. The hallmark of the silversmith Jean-Pierre Charpenat, one of Palma’s subcontractors, appears on the ewer and its basin, the warming pan, and the chocolate pot and its warmer, but only the pieces of the Louvre nécessaire were engraved with Marie-Antoinette’s monogram.2 The tea services and other toilet accessories in both nécessaires are from the Duc d’Orléans’ porcelain manufactory, located on rue Amelot in Paris. The Louvre pieces are decorated with roses, garlands, and medallions with Marie-Antoinette’s monogram; the Grasse pieces are decorated with garlands of gold foliage, naturally colored or bister monochrome roses, and diamond motifs. The absence of porcelain pieces from the rue Thiroux manufactory, of which the queen was a patron, has continued to surprise historians of porcelain, just as the somewhat austere simplicity of the gold- and silverware may disappoint historians of gold- and silverware when they compare MarieAntoinette’s nécessaires to the infinitely more luxurious silver-gilt nécessaire given to Queen Maria Leszczynska in 1729 (see catalogue no. 127). Marie-Antoinette’s nécessaires were industrially produced in Paris and minimally enhanced by the addition of the client’s monogram.They were probably also illustrations of a new lifestyle, refined but more intimate, for which Marie-Antoinette often expressed her predilection. They are thus quite moving as they are important testaments to the daily life of the queen in the early years of the turmoil of the French Revolution. M BP
Over two hundred and fifty masterpieces from one of the most
magnificent eras in the decorative arts are featured in this book, ranging from the splendors of courtly art under Louis XIV to the dazzling creations inspired first by Madame de Pompadour under Louis XV and then by Queen Marie-Antoinette under Louis XVI. A broad perspective on interior decoration, luxury goods, and the art market is offered through lavish furniture by the likes of André-Charles Boulle and Charles Cressent during the Régence, through extravagant dinner services, and through the magnificent porcelain and tapestries produced by the royal manufactories, constituting a “moment of perfection in French art” that lasted until the Revolution. The Louvre’s new rooms devoted to seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury decorative arts opened in May 2014. Some two thousand items are displayed in nearly twenty thousand square feet of exhibition space, representing one of the world’s finest collections of furnishings and objets d’art from the reign of Louis XIV through that of Louis XVI. The new galleries are organized chronologically and are punctuated by spectacular period rooms that recreate the magnificent wood-paneled interiors of lavish residences and princely palaces in eighteenth-century Paris. These reconstitutions of a bygone period provide the setting for truly remarkable objets d’art from the Louvre’s Department of Decorative Arts—now placed in their original intellectual and material context, these items recreate a vanished atmosphere and finally reveal their full meaning as well as their full beauty.