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Book by Whitehead John
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The eighteenth century was a period of great inventiveness and originality in French decorative arts and interior decoration, and its crowning achievement was the creation of the domestic interior. Using the craftsmen and skills originally brought into France from Italy and the Low Countries to serve the Sun King, French aristocrats and financiers created in their Paris Hotels and country chateaux interiors of an unprecedented elegance and sophistication. The same can be said of the works of art that completed these rooms - furniture decorated with marquetry or lacquer, gilt-bronzes, silver, the finest porcelain, of which none was finer than Sevres, tapestries and carpets from the Savonnerie, the Gobelins, Beauvais and Aubusson, and beautiful silks and upholstery.
This book discusses in detail the creation and contents of many such interiors, including some that have never been photographed before. Using contemporary inventories, letters, and journals, it brings to life the tastes and preoccupations of their creators - the Royal family, the aristocracy, the fashionable tourists, and the nouveaux riches, the dealers and craftsmen who worked for them, the artists, designers, and architects, both in their public lives and more private moments. In addition it explores the wider context of the different styles of decoration, the effect upon them of changes in etiquette and social behavior, and the effect they had in turn upon the function and arrangement of rooms within the French interior.
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