Commode

Object Details

Title:

Commode

Artist/Maker:

Bernard II van Risenburgh (French, after 1696 - about 1766, master before 1730)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1740

Medium:

White oak, set with panels of red Chinese lacquer on a coniferous substrate, and sycamore maple painted with European lacqer; gilt-bronze mounts; brass and iron hardware and lock; brèche d'Alep top

Object Number:

72.DA.46

Dimensions:

83.8 × 114.3 × 54.9 cm (33 × 45 × 21 5/8 in.)

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Bernard van Risenburgh veneered the front and side of this French commode with paper-thin sheets of Chinese red lacquer. Another specialized Parisian craftsman, as yet unidentified, painted the remaining wood surfaces of the carcass in imitation of a plain red lacquer, using the technique now generally known as vernis Martin. Van Risenburgh then applied gilt bronze mounts to cover and protect the seams of the Chinese red lacquer veneer.

A marchand-mercier, a Parisian dealer who bought Asian goods and re-made them for sale to French clients, probably commissioned the work from the craftsmen. Since the French particularly admired the lacquer surfaces of cabinets, chests, and screens imported from China and Japan, such dealers removed the lacquer panels from their original wooden supports and reattached them to traditional French furniture forms.

Provenance
- 1972

Private Collection (Paris, France) [sold, Objets d'art et d'ameublement principalement du XVIIIe siècle, Palais Galliera, Paris, March 2, 1972, lot 109, through French and Company to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]
Source: French and Company invoice, March 16, 1972. Box 1986.IA.55-23, Folder: Getty Correspondence, March 1972 (1 of 2). J. Paul Getty Early Administrative Records, 1939, 1949-1986, undated. The Getty Research Institute (IA10003).

Exhibitions
Imagining the Orient (October 5, 2004 to April 3, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 5, 2004 to April 3, 2005
Bibliography

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 155, ill.

Alcouffe, Daniel. "La commode du Cabinet de retraite de Marie Leczinska à Fontainebleau entre au Louvre." La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 4 (1988), p. 282, fig. 3.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), p. 139.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 26, no. 26.

Wolvesperges, Thibaut. Le Meubles français en laque au XVIIIe siècle (Paris and Brussels: Les Éditions de l’Amateur and Éditions Racine, 2000), pp. 188-189, fig. 85.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 15, no. 26.

Heginbotham, Arlen et al. "A procedure for the efficient and simultaneous analysis of Asian and European lacquers in furniture […]." 15th Triennial Conference New Delhi, 22-26 September 2008. 2 vols. (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 2008), vol. 2 (2008), p. 1100-1103, 1105, figs. 1-2, 4, 5.

Eighteenth Century: Birth of Design: Furniture Masterpieces 1650-1790, exh. cat. (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2014), p. 156, note. 3.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Looking at French Decorative Arts: Appropriate and Innovate

Students will learn the term appropriation, the contemporary art practice of borrowing elements to create a new work of art.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

3-5

Single Class Lesson