Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (8)
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012
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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S109
Bed (Lit à la turque)
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Tilliard (French, 1686 - 1766)
Paris, France (Place created)
about 1750 - 1760
Gessoed and gilded beech and walnut; modern silk upholstery
174 x 264.8 x 188 cm (68 1/2 x 104 1/4 x 74 in.)
Jean-Baptiste Tilliard made this unusually large bed for a bedroom in a grand private residence. The bed would have been placed sideways against a wall, with a draped baldachin, now missing, above. The large wheels allowed servants to pull out the body of the bed easily, leaving the tall back attached to the wall while they made it up. It was probably set into an alcove or niche in the bedroom wall.
In eighteenth-century France, a bed of this shape was called a lit à la turque (Turkish bed) because of its two scrolling ends. This title does not refer to any specific Turkish design source but reflects the eighteenth-century preoccupation with anything exotic and unusual from foreign countries. Turkey, China, and Egypt were among the places that inspired craftsmen in their creation of