The return to classical sources

With a selection of furniture by the great Parisian cabinetmakers of Louis XV’s later reign – such as Vandercruse, Teuné, Montigny, Garnier and Leleu – this room presents the earliest expressions of the classical revival known as the goût grec (“Greek taste”) that emerged from the mid-eighteenth century onward alongside the “Transitional” style with its simplification of Rococo. The return to the classical formal repertoire was often based on models from the reign of Louis XIV, still perceived as representative of grand gout (“grand taste”). Bronze mounts from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, made in the workshops of André-Charles Boulle and Charles Cressent, became fashionable again. The presentation in this room plays on the striking contrast between pieces from the same period (mostly from the 1760s) with very different aesthetics: simplified, symmetrized Rococo on the one hand (Jean Teulé’s large roll-top desk), and the goût grec or neoclassical style on the other (the porcelain biscuit figure of Pygmalion, based on the marble sculpture by Falconet, greatly admired by Diderot at the Salon of 1763). Precisely dated pieces of silverware and Sèvres porcelain complete the display.

Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
tél. : +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50