Monday, February 20, 2012

La commode de Mme. du Barry

Attributed to Martin Carlin, 1772 [Musee du Louvre, Paris]
Left plaque: after Nicolas Lancret ~ Par une Tendre Chansonnette  
Center plaque: after Jean-Baptiste Pater ~ L'Agréable Société 
Right plaque: after Nicolas Lancret ~ La Conversation Gallante

The apartments of the favorite at Versailles formed a series of boudoirs, each of which seemed to those who entered for the first time more elegant than another. The chimney-piece in the salon was adorned with a magnificent clock, "around which a world of porcelain figures disported themselves." In the same room were two commodes of priceless lacquer, one relieved by figures in gold, the other decorated with fine porcelain plaques, which, we are told, had not their equals in Europe.  From the ceiling hung a lustre of rock-crystal, which had cost 16,000 livres, and in a a corner stood a beautiful piano, the work of the famous Clicot, the case of which was of rosewood, exquisitely inlaid and lavishly gilded. The cabinet contained a writing-table plated with porcelain, and an inkstand which was a masterpiece of the goldsmith's art; while in the bedroom was a wonderful clock, which represented " the Three Graces supporting the vase of Time," and Love indicating the hour with his arrow. "The most exquisite objects of art, marvels of upholstery, bronzes, marbles, statuettes, abounded in this asylum of voluptuous pleasure. It was the last word of luxury."! - Hugh Noel Williams Memoirs of Madame Du Barry, of the court of Louis XV, 1910

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