Go to content Go to navigation Go to search Change language

Home>Collection & Louvre Palace>Curatorial Departments>Pair of fauteuils à la Reine

Work Pair of fauteuils à la Reine

Department of Decorative Arts: 18th century: rococo

Two straight-backed chairs

© Musée du Louvre / Objets d'Art

Decorative Arts
18th century: rococo

Author(s):
Dryansky Larisa

These two fauteuils were part of a larger set of furniture including two settees, four fauteuils, and two stools, now divided between a private collection and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. They belonged to Pierre Crozat (1661–1740), Treasurer of France. Their original gilding and upholstery have been preserved. Emblematic of the Régence style, they demonstrate the period's taste for morocco leather.

Pierre Crozat, a wealthy collector

Pierre Crozat (1661–1740) was Treasurer of France as well as a wealthy and celebrated collector. In the early 18th century, he commissioned the architect Cartaud to build a private mansion for him on rue de Richelieu in Paris. A gallery ran through the ground floor, opening onto the garden. It was hung with red damask and decorated with pier glasses. This is where Crozat kept the pieces from his collection. Among the various paintings, marble busts, bronze groups, and marble tables, there was, in particular, a set of twelve fauteuils, two settees, two benches, and four stools covered with red morocco leather. It was in this gallery that the two fauteuils now in the Louvre were originally displayed.

Régence-style furniture

The wooden frames of the fauteuils, still covered with their original gilding, are curved and fully visible. Typical of the Régence, they nevertheless present many characteristics of the Louis XIV style. The cabriole legs are no longer joined by a stretcher, yet their stocky outline still harks back to the later years of the Louis XIV period. They stand on whorl feet. The arm supports, plumb with the legs, slightly turn out at the tip. The armrests, perfectly rectilinear, have arm pads for comfort. The back maintains some of the rigidity of earlier chairs. In its upper part, however, this is relieved by an undulating movement at the top. As for the repertory of ornaments — fluting, clasps, palms and acanthus leaves — it is indicative of the growing diversity of chair decoration in the early 18th century.

The taste for Morocco leather

The fauteuils in the Louvre are still covered with their original upholstery of tawny and red morocco leather. The borders are decorated with appliqué leather patterns outlined with stitching. Morocco leather is made either of goat or sheep skin tanned with sumac or gallnut. Pierre Crozat had a definite liking for morocco and used it as well to cover the furniture of his mansion's main drawing room. He also had twelve walnut fauteuils upholstered in the same leather for his country estate in Montmorency. He was not alone in his tastes. Indeed, an inventory of the Royal Furniture Repository describes a set of chairs very similar to his.

Bibliography

B. G. P. Pallot, Le Mobilier du musée du Louvre, Paris, 1993, Faton, pp. 32 35.

Catalogue d'exposition Nouvelles acquisitions du département des Objets d'art 1980-1985, Paris, 1990, pp. 140-142.

Technical description

  • Paris (c. 1710-20)

    Two straight-backed chairs

  • H. 1.11 m; W. 0.69 m; D. 0.56 m

  • Gift of Comte Robert Henry de Caumont La Force, 1989 , 1989

    OA 11200, OA 11201

  • Decorative Arts

    Sully wing
    1st floor
    Galerie Edmond et Lilly Safra
    Room 603

Practical information

The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Free admission on the first Saturday of each month
from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

 
Closed on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25
 
Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France
Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)
Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
 

Buy tickets