Enfilade

Display | Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Riesener

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 21, 2016

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Installation view of A Closer Look: Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806) in the White Drawing Room at Waddesdon Manor, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust), 23 March – 23 October 2016. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. 

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Press release for the display now on view at Waddesdon:

A Closer Look: Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806)
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 23 March — 23 October 2016

Curated by Ulrich Leben and Emily Roy

Waddesdon is unique in the world for having three extraordinary chests of drawers by Jean- Henri Riesener (1734–1806), two of which belonged to members of the French royal family. They are displayed in the White Drawing Room at Waddesdon for this special exhibition. The display allows visitors to look closely at these magnificent pieces and to learn about their design, technical construction, and fascinating history. It provides a rare opportunity to look in 360° at objects normally placed against walls.

You can see the magnificent chest of drawers commissioned by the Comtesse de Provence, sister-in- law of Louis XVI, magnificently veneered in purple heart, with marquetry of tulipwood, mahogany, sycamore, ebony, boxwood, casuarina, holly and burl wood with gilt-bronze mounts and marble top. She ordered this chest of drawers from Riesener on 8 February 1776 and it was delivered to her apartment in Versailles the following month. This was astonishingly fast for such a complex piece of furniture. Also in the collection is a chest of drawers for Louis XVI youngest sister Madame Elisabeth (1764–1794) for her coming of age at just 14 years old!

The exhibition includes a specially commissioned digital animation showing the construction of Madame Elisabeth’s chest of drawers and two films, produced by the J. Paul Getty Museum, showing the making of intricate marquetry and gilt-bronze mounts. The display marks the beginning of a research project—in collaboration with The Wallace Collection and The Royal Collection—which aims to learn more about Riesener, the techniques and materials he used, and the world of buying and making furniture in 18th-century France.

The curators would like to thank the following for their help with the preparation, design and installation of the exhibition: Colin Bailey, Vincent Bastien, Alexis Borde, Max Coppoletta, Fréderic D’Arras, Mike Fear, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Jürgen Huber, Helen Jacobson, Lindsay Macnaughton, David Mlinaric, Miriam Schefzyk, Christoph Vogtherr, and the Collections, Facilities, IT and Marketing Departments.

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Additional images are available here»

Study Session | French Royal Furniture by Jean-Henri Riesener

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend), opportunities by Editor on April 21, 2016

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Study day opportunities at Waddeson Manor in connection with the Riesener exhibition:

Study Session: Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Jean-Henri Riesener
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 25 May, 28 July, and and 23 September 2016

Waddesdon Manor houses three extraordinary chests of drawers by court cabinet-maker Jean-Henri Riesener, two of which belonged to members of the French royal family. They are among twelve pieces of furniture now at Waddesdon that were originally at the Palace of Versailles. Riesener was perhaps the most celebrated cabinet-maker of the 18th century, the official cabinet-maker to King Louis XVI, and the favourite of Queen Marie Antoinette. Each of these chests of drawers is richly decorated with colourful marquetry (designs made with wood veneers) depicting flowers and trophies and geometric patterns, and mounted with finely chased and gilded bronzes. Learn about their design, technical construction, and fascinating history. £25 (includes grounds admission), £15 National Trust/Art Fund members, £10 students. Wednesday 25 May, Thursday 28 July, and Friday 23 September 2016. Coffee on arrival at 10.15; session 10.45–12.15.

Display | Persuading the King: A MS Petition by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 21, 2016

Now on view at Waddesdon:

Persuading the King: A Manuscript Petition by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724–1780)
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 23 March — 23 October 2016

Curated by Rachel Jacobs

unspecifiedThis display highlights a new addition to the collection at Waddesdon: Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’s volume, Placets de l’officier Desbans (1775). This elaborate manuscript petition (placet) was  submitted to Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette by a soldier, Edme Louis Desbans, asking for a long-promised promotion. Gabriel de Saint-Aubin was one of the greatest draughtsman of 18th-century France, and the drawings with which he brought this document to life were designed to glorify the royal couple while appealing to their artistic tastes and sensibilities. This unique work offers a glimpse into the politics of promotion and favour at the French court near the end of the Old Regime—in which the fortune of an individual depended upon the arts of persuasion. It has all sorts of resonances today, from patronage to the mysterious world of the political lobbyist.

A pdf file of the text panels is available at the Waddesdon website.

Study Session | Persuading the King

Posted in lectures (to attend), opportunities by Editor on April 21, 2016

Study day opportunity at Waddeson Manor in connection with the exhibition:

Study Session Persuading the King: Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’s Placets
de l’officier Desbans and Other Books by the Saint-Aubin Brothers

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 24 June 2016

A rare opportunity to study Waddesdon’s newly acquired royal petition by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, alongside other manuscript volumes, drawings, and prints by the artist and his brothers Charles-Germain and Augustin. Senior Curator Dr Juliet Carey and Curator Rachel Jacobs will offer a glimpse into the politics of promotion and favour near the end of the Old Regime. Works will include Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’s Memoire sur la reformation de la police de France (1749) and a special copy of Du Perron’s Discours sur la peinture et sur l’architecture (1757), made for the book’s dedicatee Madame de Pompadour. Charles-Germain de Aubin’s famous Livre de caricatures will provide a subversive counterpoint to the arts of flattery and persuasion that lay at the heart of court culture. £25 (includes grounds admission), £15 National Trust/Art Fund members, £10 students. Friday, 24 June 2016. Coffee on arrival at 10.15; study session 10.45–12.15. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Study Session | Books and Bindings at Waddesdon Manor

Posted in lectures (to attend), opportunities by Editor on April 21, 2016

From Waddesdon:

Study Session: Books and Bindings
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 12 May and 15 September 2016

General view bCome and explore the treasures of the Waddesdon collection of 17th- and 18th-century books and bindings. These include unique manuscripts and luxuriously illustrated printed volumes. Many of the books in the collection have illustrious provenances including great bibliophiles and members of the French Royal Family. The session will provide an opportunity to view some of the treasures of the Waddesdon Collection and to learn about book history through some of its finest examples. £25 (includes grounds admission), £15 National Trust/Art Fund members, £10 students. Thursday 12 May and 15 September 2016. Coffee on arrival at 10.15; study session 10.45–12.15.