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Daybed in French Decorative Arts: Crillon Room | by Autistic Reality
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Daybed in French Decorative Arts: Crillon Room

Boudoir from the Hôtel de Crillon

 

•Designer: Pierre-Adrien Paris (French, 1747-1819)

•Date: ca. 1777-1780

•Culture: French, Paris

•Medium: Oak, painted and gilded

•Dimensions:

oOverall: 9 ft. 3½ in. × 15 ft. 5½ in. × 14 ft. 3 in. (283.2 × 471.2 × 435.6 cm)

•Classification: Woodwork

•Credit Line: Gift of Susan Dwight Bliss, 1944

•Accession Number: 44.128

 

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 546.

 

[Arabesques] are an inexhaustible source of ways to decorate in a beautiful style the interior and exterior of modern buildings, furniture, and even clothes.

—Charles-Louis Clérisseau, 1779

 

Delightful arabesques painted in pastel colors on a soft blue ground form the chief decoration of this paneling, which once lined the walls of a boudoir located next to the bedroom of Louis-Marie-Augustin, fifth duc d’Aumont (1709-1782), one of the four First Gentlemen of the King’s Bedchamber. In 1776 he rented an unfinished town house that had been constructed for the builder and entrepreneur Louis-François Trouard (1729-1794). It was one of several private mansions erected behind a facade built in a grand Neoclassical style by Jacques-Ange Gabriel (1698-1782) on the place Louis XV, now the place de la Concorde.

 

A man of taste as well as a significant art collector, the duc d’Aumont engaged the architect Pierre-Adrien Pâris to design the interior decoration for his new abode. Having studied in Rome, partly at the duke’s expense, Pâris would have been familiar with the early sixteenth-century decorative wall paintings executed by Raphael and his assistants in the Vatican loggias. Raphael’s work clearly served as inspiration for the embellishment of the Museum’s paneling, as it shows similar charming and lighthearted motifs, such as small animals balancing on garlands and rolling acanthus scrolls. The exterior windows of this intimate polyhedral boudoir, which was painted by an unknown artist, gave access to a balcony with views toward the rue des Champs-Élysées (now the rue Boissy d’Anglas). Set into the wall paneling are four mirrors angled to reflect the arabesque decoration. (The mirror inside the niche is a replacement for the original pane of clear glass that allowed light to shine into the stairwell behind the room.) According to the 1782 inventory drawn up after the duke’s death, the boudoir was furnished with four stools, two armchairs, and an ottomane, or comfortable sofa, described as having three backs. Each stool was most likely placed under one of the mirrors, and the ottomane, complete with cushions, pillows, and bolsters, must have stood inside the niche. All the seat furniture was upholstered in blue moiré silk, the same color as that of the gros de Tours (ribbed silk) curtains. Although most of the furnishings and collections of the duc d’Aumont were sold at a celebrated auction that took place in the house in 1782, the woodwork of this room stayed in the building. The hôtel was acquired six years later by François-Félix-Dorothée des Balbes de Berton, comte de Crillon (1748-1820), and it remained the property of his descendants until the early twentieth century.

 

Epigraph. Quoted in Hautecoeur 1912, p. 46.

 

Provenance

 

Hôtel de Crillon, 10, Place de la Concorde, Paris, France; Louis Trouard (by 1776); Félix François Dorothée Berton des Balbes, Comte de Crillon (1788-d. 1827); Marie Louise Amélie Berton des Balbes (duchesse de Polignac) (until d. 1904); Duc(s) de Polignac (until 1906; sold to Bliss, through Mme Gaëton Désache (née Flandin), January 13, 1906); Mrs. George T. Bliss (from 1906); Susan Dwight Bliss , New York (until 1944; to MMA)

 

Timeline of Art History

 

•Timelines

oFrance, 1600-1800 A.D.

 

MetPublications

 

•The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

•Period Rooms in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

•Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

 

 

Candelstand and Worktable (Table à Ouvrage en Guéridon)

 

•Maker: Attributed to Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix (French, 1727-1799)

•Factory: Porcelain plaques by Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740-Present)

•Decorator: Porcelain plaques decorated by Charles Vandé (French, active 1785-91)

•Date: ca. 1785

•Culture: French, Sèvres

•Medium: Oak veneered with tulipwood, boxwood, holly and ebonized holly, sycamore, and other woods; soft-paste porcelain, gilt bronze, silk

•Dimensions:

oHeight: 31⅛ in. (79.1 cm)

oDiameter of Top: 14⅝ in. (37.1 cm)

•Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

•Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1976

•Accession Number: 1976.155.106

 

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 546.

 

The top of this elegant worktable was meant to be used as a guéridon, to support a candelstick offering light when the owner, most likely an aristocratic woman, was working on her needlepoint or sewing at night.

 

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

 

•Marking:

oGlazed on Back of Plaque and Painted in Gold: interlaced Ls enclosing GG with letter V below [Sèvres factory mark with date-letters for 1784]

 

Provenance

 

The Lords Hillingdon, London; Edith Chester Beatty, London; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, New York (until 1976; to MMA)

 

Timeline of Art History

 

•Timelines

oFrance, 1600-1800 A.D.

 

MetPublications

 

•The Wrightsman Collection. Vols. 1 and 2, Furniture, Gilt Bronze and Mounted Porcelain, Carpets

 

 

Daybed (Lit De Repos or Sultane) (Part of a Set)

 

•Maker(s): Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené (1748-1803); Painted and Gilded by Louis-François Chatard (ca. 1749-1819)

•Date: 1788

•Culture: French, Paris

•Medium: Carved, painted and gilded walnut; modern cotton twill embroidered in silk

•Dimensions: 36½ (Height) × 69 in. (Width) × 31½ in. (Depth) (92.7 × 175.3 × 80.0 cm)

•Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

•Credit Line: Gift of Ann Payne Blumenthal, 1941

•Accession Number: 41.205.1

 

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 546.

 

The Palace of St. Cloud belongs to the Duke of Orleans, is situated on the declivity of a mountain washed by the Seine….. The view from the house is delightful.

 

—Harry Peckham, A Tour through Holland . . .and Part of France

 

Louis XVI purchased the country residence of the duc d’Orléans a few miles west of Paris for Marie-Antoinette in 1785. Being in need of renovation, the palace was enlarged and altered for the queen, and many pieces of furniture were commissioned from Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené. A member of an important dynasty of Parisian chairmakers, Sené had been appointed menuisier to the Crown in 1784.

 

A detailed 1788 description of this set, which also included four matching armchairs and a stool, indicates that the pieces were intended for one of Marie-Antoinette’s private rooms at Saint-Cloud, her Cabinet Particulier. The frame of the daybed, originally longer but shortened at a later date, is embellished with carving of ivy on the seat rail and garlands of roses along the crest rail. Ionic capitals surmount the short legs, and most remarkable of all are the Egyptian female half-figures on tapering supports that decorate the front stiles. Even though in his bill Sené called them simply caryatids, these figures clearly express the queen’s taste for ornament derived from ancient Egyptian art, well before Napoléon’s North African campaign made it fashionable. Similar ornament is found on the bergère (a comfortable armchair upholstered between the arms and the seat), which, in addition, has a medallion on top with Marie-Antoinette’s initials framed by myrtle branches and roses. The matching screen, however, displays classical female figures on its feet and top rail. Unfortunately, the identity of the sculptor is not known, but Louis-François Chatard is documented as having painted and gilded the wooden surfaces.

 

The 1789 inventory of Saint-Cloud records the entire suite in the queen’s Cabinet de Toilette, or dressing room. Listed by its show covers, as was customary for seat furniture, the set is described as being upholstered in white cotton twill, embroidered with a small floral ornament in silk. Known to have worked on needlepoint projects all her life, Marie-Antoinette did the embroidery herself, which she executed in satin stitch. Modern replicas of the queen’s handiwork, including her interlaced monogram on the panel of the fire screen, grace the frames of the furniture today. The colorful floral embroidery on the light cotton ground conveys a sense of summer, the season Marie-Antoinette preferred to spend at Saint-Cloud.

 

Epigraph. Peckham 1788, p. 199.

 

Provenance

 

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, Cabinet de Toilette, Palace of Saint-Cloud, France (by 1788); Marquis de Casaux (until 1923; sale, Hôtel Drout, Paris, December 21, 1923, No. A); George and Florence Blumenthal (from 1923); Ann Payne Blumenthal (until 1941; to MMA).

 

Timeline of Art History

 

•Essays

oEmpire Style, 1800-1815

oFrench Furniture in the Eighteenth Century: Seat Furniture

oThe Golden Age of French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

oThe Neoclassical Temple

•Timelines

oFrance, 1600-1800 A.D.

 

MetPublications

 

•A Guide to the Wrightsman Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

•“French Royal Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art”: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 63, no. 3 (Winter, 2006)

•European Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection

•Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

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Taken on October 17, 2018