Cabinet

Object Details

Title:

Cabinet

Artist/Maker(s):

Joseph Baumhauer (French, died 1772)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1765

Medium:

Oak veneered with ebony, tulipwood, maple, Japanese cedar, and amaranth; set with panels of seventeenth-century Japanese lacquer; gilt-bronze mounts; jasper top

Dimensions:

89.6 x 120.3 x 58.7 cm (35 1/4 x 47 3/8 x 23 1/8 in.)

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The combination of rare and expensive materials used on this cabinet indicates that it was a particularly expensive commission. The four Japanese lacquer panels date from the mid- to late 1600s and were created with a technique known as kijimaki-e. For this type of lacquer, artisans sanded plain wood to heighten its strong grain and used it as the background of each panel. They then added the scenic elements of landscape, plants, and animals in raised lacquer. Although this technique was common in Japan, such large panels were rarely incorporated into French eighteenth-century furniture.

Heavy Ionic pilasters, whose copper-filled flutes give an added rich color and contrast to the gilt-bronze mounts, flank the panels. Yellow jasper, a semiprecious stone, rather than the usual marble, forms the top.

Bibliography

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 171.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), pp. 186-87.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 219.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 102, no. 79.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 219.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Fusing Furniture and Asian Art

Students learn how French artists used imported lacquer panels in furniture, and create their own Asian-inspired lacquer panel design.

Visual Arts; History–Social Science

6-8

Three/Five-Part Lesson