France

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Image features the decorative title page of Volume 1 and colored engraving of man's costume featuring a waistcoat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Keeping a Watch on Waistcoats
Marie Antoinette and her entourage of costumers were obsessed with discovering the latest fashion trends in clothing, accessories and hairstyles. Despite the predominance and popularity of French fashion trends in the eighteenth century, the scarcity of printed fashion news and illustrations led to the publications of the first fashion plates in early British magazines for...
Image features a full-bellied cup with spiral ribbing, a simple loop handle, and a domed lid with a knob at the top in the form of an apple with leaves. The pot and lid are decorated with naturalistic looking flowers in shades of pink, red, blue, yellow and green, all on a white ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A French Porcelain Cup for “English Cream”
On July 14th, France and many other nations around the world celebrated French National Day, also known as Bastille Day. The date is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which took place in 1789, and marked a turning point in the French Revolution. These days, this national occasion is usually marked with parades,...
Images features a print in black ink on white paper showing image of rococo-style couch framed against an interior wall, designed in the same style. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Sinuous Sofa
Small Sofa for Count Bielenski, Grand Marshal of Poland is a print on white laid paper, etched and engraved by Gabriel Huquier (French, 1695-1772). It features a sofa or canapé designed in the Rococo style, framed by an interior wall decorated with carvings that mirror the graceful curvatures of the sofa’s structure. The goldsmith, sculptor,...
This image features monkeys with sheet music, playing instruments and drinking wine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Monkey Business, French Style
Monkeys have been a symbol in world cultures for thousands of years, representing qualities ranging from fertility, to evil, lust and wisdom. The negative image that the monkey had in Western culture gradually changed in the 17th century when monkeys were used as symbols to satirize human behavior in Flemish genre painting. This visual art...
Image features three artists at work in a large studio space.
Men at Work
  In the rear of a large atelier of the French Academy in Rome, three students (called pensionnaires) are at work. One, by the window, labors over a drawing; a second stands near a bas-relief, and a third, seated, bends over a work in progress. The remainder of the space is filled with studio equipment:...
Image features a print showing an allegorical figure of winter, a be-robed and bearded muscular old man, standing, leaning to his right, warming himself above the fire in a container at his feet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Sculptures Fit for a King
The book, Recueil des figures, groupes, thermes, fontaines, vases, et autres ornemens tels qu’ils se voyent a present dans le Château et Parc de Versailles / / gravé d’apres les originaux par Simon Thomassin, graveur du Roy provides a comprehensive catalogue of the sculptures within the gardens at the Palace of  Versailles. Authored and published...
Image festures porcelain etui in the form of a naturalistic asparagus tip with hinged lid at base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Asparagus to Go
Trompe-l’oeil ceramics such as this porcelain étui modelled after an asparagus tip were all the rage in Europe and England during the 18th century. Etuis are small ornamental personal cases that were used to carry toiletry items or sewing tools, and would have been used primarily by women. Other examples of trompe-l’oeil ceramics included tureens...
Image featues a shaped inkstand with inset inkpot and sander, each with a circular lid; green and ochre decoration of flowers, foliage, and figure. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Natural Treasure
Made of faience, a type of tin-glazed earthenware produced in France, this brightly colored inkstand held a pot for ink, a sander, pens, and various writing accouterments. Initially derived from Middle Eastern regions before the 9th century, faience developed in France during the 16th century; the French producers were largely influenced by Italian makers of...
Image features a French Romanesque church, drawn in graphite, with touches of watercolor to indicate the colors of rooftops, trees, etc. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Legacy of Beauty
Stanford White’s architectural legacy of beauty and sophistication is celebrated throughout New York City. Inspired by European architecture, White was a founder of the City Beautiful movement that spread across the country at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1878, as a young artist, White had traveled throughout Normandy and Belgium by train in...