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French Rococo Ébénisterie in the J. Paul Getty Museum

Gillian Wilson and Arlen Heginbotham

Edited and with an introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas 

The first comprehensive catalogue of the Getty Museum’s significant collection of French Rococo ébénisterie furniture.

This catalogue focuses on French ébénisterie furniture in the Rococo style dating from 1735 to 1760. These splendid objects directly reflect the tastes of the Museum’s founder, J. Paul Getty, who started collecting in this area in 1938 and continued until his death in 1976.
 
The Museum’s collection is particularly rich in examples created by the most talented cabinet masters then active in Paris, including Bernard van Risenburgh II (after 1696–ca. 1766), Jacques Dubois (1694–1763), and Jean-François Oeben (1721–1763). Working for members of the French royal family and aristocracy, these craftsmen excelled at producing veneered and marquetried pieces of furniture (tables, cabinets, and chests of drawers) fashionable for their lavish surfaces, refined gilt-bronze mounts, and elaborate design. These objects were renowned throughout Europe at a time when Paris was considered the capital of good taste.
 
The entry on each work comprises both a curatorial section, with description and commentary, and a conservation report, with construction diagrams. An introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas traces the collection’s acquisition history, and two technical essays by Arlen Heginbotham present methodologies and findings on the analysis of gilt-bronze mounts and lacquer.

This open-access catalogue is available for free online and in multiple formats for download, including PDF, MOBI/Kindle, and EPUB. For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale. 

Gillian Wilson was curator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1971 to 2002. Arlen Heginbotham is conservator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Anne-Lise Desmas is senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

320 pages
8 1/2 x 11 inches
389 color and 21 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-630-0
paperback

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum

2021