Chair (fauteuil de toilette)

Object Details

Title:

Chair (fauteuil de toilette)

Artist/Maker:

Georges Jacob (French, 1739 - 1814, master 1765)
and Jean-Baptiste-Simon Rode (French, 1735 - 1799, master 1766)
and originally painted by Chaillot
Fabric by Desfarges (French, 1739 - 1814, master 1765)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France, Europe (Place created)

Date:

about 1787

Medium:

Carved beech; caning; modern silk velvet upholstery

Object Number:

72.DA.51

Dimensions:

85.1 × 57.8 × 54.6 cm (33 1/2 × 22 3/4 × 21 1/2 in.)

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Marie-Antoinette sat in this chair while her servants arranged her hair and applied her makeup in her bedroom at the Petit Trianon a small house built on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. Known as a chaise de toilette, its swivel mechanism and low back were specially designed for performing the daily rituals of dressing. It is finely carved with bands of lily of the valley and ivy along the curved supports of the arms, while the legs and edge of the circular seat imitate caning.

The Petit Trianon was given to the queen by her husband, Louis XVI, as a private retreat where she could escape from the rigid etiquette of court life. Marie-Antoinette furnished these intimate apartments, which were never seen by most of the courtiers, with exquisite furniture that reflected her own personal taste.

This chair was part of a set of furniture delivered to the palace in 1787 that also included two armchairs, two side chairs, a fire screen, and a stool. The bed from the set is missing, but the rest remains at the Petit Trianon. The other pieces retain the original pastel-colored paint in yellow, blue, green, and white that has unfortunately been stripped from this chair.

Provenance
about 1787 - 1792

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Reine, nationalized by the revolutionary government in 1792.

1792 - 1793

French government, Convention Nationale, Garde-Meuble National [included with the rest of the queen's bedchamber furniture as no. 2477 in the October 2 1793 sale], sold at auction and acquired by the marchand-mercier Rocheux through the agent and merchant Hébert.

1793 -

Rocheux

before 1921

Senator George P. Wetmore, 1846 - 1921, by inheritance to his daughters Edith M.K. Wetmore and Maude A.K Wetmore, 1921.

1921 - 1951

Maude A.K. Wetmore, 1873 - 1951

1921 - 1951

and Edith M.K. Wetmore, 1870 - 1966, retained by her sister Edith M.K. Wetmore, 1951.

1951 - 1966

Edith M.K. Wetmore, 1870 - 1966, devolved to her estate upon her death, 1966.

1966 - 1969

Estate of Edith M.K. Wetmore, 1870 - 1966, consigned at her death to Parke-Bernet Galleries, 1969.

1969 - 1971

Parke-Bernet Galleries (New York), [unsold, (...) Works of Art at Château-sur-Mer, Newport Residence of the Late Edith M.K. Wetmore & Maude A.K. Wetmore, Parke-Bernet, Château-sur-Mer, Newport, Rhode Island, September 16-18, 1969, lot 1037; sold, 18th-Century French & Other Continental Furniture (...), Parke-Bernet, New York, New York, Februrary 20, 1971, lot 122, to Dalva Brothers Inc.]

1971 - 1972

Dalva Brothers, Inc., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Exhibitions
Splendors of Versailles (April 1 to August 31, 1998)
  • Mississippi Arts Pavilion (Jackson), April 1 to August 31, 1998
Bibliography

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum, 7ème partie: Le Mobilier Louis XVI." Connaissance des arts 280 (June 1975), p. 92, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 97, no. 125.

Beurdeley, Michel. La France à l'encan, 1789-1799: exode des objets d'art sous la Révolution (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1981), p. 109.

Wilson, Gillian. Selections from the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), pp. 94-95, no. 47.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 48, no. 104.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), p. 426.

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. 70, no. 101.

Constans, Claire, and Xavier Salmon, eds. Splendors of Versailles, exh. cat. (Jackson: Mississippi Arts Pavilion, with The Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange, 1998), no. 97, p. 191, ill.

Richard, Pascale. Versailles, the American Story (Paris: Alain de Gourcuff, 1999), p. 72, ill.

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. 52, no. 100.

Wilson, Gillian. "Versailles au J. Paul Getty Museum." Versalia, Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles 5 (2002), pp. 98-99, figs. 8-9.

Adlin, Jane. "Vanities: Art of the Dressing Table." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 71 no. 2 (Fall 2013), p. 8, fig. 8.

Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly, Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), p. 37, fig. 17.

Delalex, Hélène, et al. Marie-Antoinette (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), pp. 2, 7, ill.

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