Cabinet on Stand

Object Details

Title:

Cabinet on Stand

Artist/Maker(s):

Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642 - 1732, master before 1666)

and medallions after Jean Varin (French, 1596 - 1672)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1675 - 1680

Medium:

Oak veneered with pewter, brass, tortoise shell, horn, ebony, ivory, and wood marquetry; bronze mounts; figures of painted and gilded oak; with drawers of snakewood

Dimensions:

229.9 x 151.2 x 66.7 cm (90 1/2 x 59 1/2 x 26 1/4 in.)

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The decoration on this monumental cabinet refers to the French king Louis XIV's military victories. A panel of marquetry showing the cockerel of France standing triumphant over both the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire and the lion of Spain and the Spanish Netherlands decorates the central door. On the drawer above the door, gilt-bronze military trophies flank a medallion portrait of Louis XIV. In the Dutch Wars of 1672 - 1678, France fought simultaneously against the Dutch, Spanish, and Imperial armies, defeating them all. This cabinet celebrates the Treaty of Nijmegen, which concluded the war. Two large figures from Greek mythology, Hercules and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, representatives of strength and bravery in war, appear to support the cabinet.

The fleurs-de-lis on the top two drawers indicate that the cabinet was made for Louis XIV. As it does not appear in inventories of his possessions, it may have served as a royal gift. The Sun King's portrait appears twice on this work. The bronze medallion above the central door was cast from a medal struck in 1661 which shows the king at the age of twenty-one. Another medallion inside shows him a few years later.

The pair to this cabinet still exists in Scotland. Both cabinets probably entered England in the early nineteenth century after the French Revolution caused the dispersal of so many French collections.

Bibliography

Schwartz, Marvin D. "Boulle Furniture." Art and Antiques 6 (April 1983), p. 72.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 144-45.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 2-3, no. 4.

Jackson-Stops, Gervase. "Boulle by the Beach, Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum." Country Life 179 (April 3, 1986), pp. 854-56, fig. 3.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), pp. 158-59.

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), pp. 14-16, no. 7.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 186-87.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 54-55, no. 40.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 182, 186-87, 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), pp. 4-5, no. 7.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) pp. 22-49, no. 3.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

The Ultimate Desk

Lesson in which students learn about the Baroque period, work in groups to create a Baroque desk, and reflection on the process in journals

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; Music

3-5

Long-Term Unit

Palace Adventure

The Getty's decorative arts collection inspires students' fantasy stories based on the book Corduroy.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

K-2

Long-Term Unit

Looking at French Decorative Arts

Sculpting a Modern Hero

Lesson plan in which students discuss attributes depicted in a sculpture of Herakles and create their own sculptures of modern-day heroes.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8

Three/Five-Part Lesson

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