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Louis XV, passions d’un roi.

Louis XV, passions d’un roi. : Garniture de vases représentant les Quatre Éléments Manufacture de Meissen, Johann Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) et Johann Friedrich Eberlein (1695-1749), 1742, Dresde, © Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo Adrian Sauer   

The exhibition

Three tricks are used to define this monarch who, all his life, strives to escape majesty: the child out of limbo of the palace of the expiring Sun to cherish his intimacy, the man accomplished in science and the dictator of the taste of his time. For the rocaille is Louis XV. Now, the enveloping kindness of curves and counter-curves, the jagged ornamentation of bronzes, the extreme softness obtained from the materials (wood, metals, earth, crystals), the undulating ease of the painters of sheepfolds and hunting, the chisels of Pigalle, Jacques Saly, Bouchardon, modelling the marble in soft clay, are proper only to this period of the Parisian art which shines, which one covets - for proof, the commode of the cabinetmaker Gaudreaus adorned by the bronzier Caffieri, delivered for the bedroom of the private apartments of the castle and today to the Wallace Collection, by the means of the revolutionary sales - and that one even copies... The whole exhibition allows an enchanted immersion in this rocaille style that defies any other interpretation than that of a moment of French genius to be read as a simple contribution to the Common Beauty. It is also an opportunity to see rare works and to enter, once again, the intimacy of Versailles, which reopens some of the private apartments, those of the two favorites, of the Dauphin and his two sisters, and reconstitutes, in a spectacular scenography, the gallery of exotic hunts usually in Amiens.

Extract from the article by Vincent Quéau published in the N°104 de la revue Art Absolument. Published February 3, 2023


18/10/2022 - 19/02/2023