The gilt study from the Hôtel de Rochegude in Avignon, c. 1720

This study was part of the Hôtel de Rochegude in Avignon. The mansion was purchased by the Rochegude family in 1730, but this decoration had been commissioned by the previous owner, André de Paÿs des Hoirs, from the Parisian architect and sculptor Thomas Laîné.

Laîné had gained experience on royal building projects and had worked for the administration of the King’s Buildings in Versailles. In 1714, he settled in Avignon – papal territory at that time – where he enjoyed a prosperous career as an architect, perpetuating the decorative tradition of Versailles but making a few changes. This study was designed according to local traditions: walnut rather than oak paneling, and painting and gilding applied without a ground layer (letting the veins of the wood show through). The gilding was oil (“mixion”) rather than water-based, hence its oilier, orangey appearance.

The archives show that all the mansion’s floors were tiled with terracotta tomettes. The floor in the museum is composed of old tiles of smaller dimensions, which are square rather than hexagonal (as they usually were in the Ile-de-France region).

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