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French Rococo Ébénisterie in the J. Paul Getty Museum

by Gillian Wilson and Arlen Heginbotham
edited by Anne-Lise Desmas
introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas

J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2021


eISBN: 978-1-60606-632-4

Paper: 978-1-60606-630-0

About the Book

The first comprehensive catalogue of the Getty Museum’s significant collection of French Rococo ébénisterie furniture.

This catalogue focuses on French ébénisterie furniture in the Rococo style dating from 1735 to 1760. These splendid objects directly reflect the tastes of the Museum’s founder, J. Paul Getty, who started collecting in this area in 1938 and continued until his death in 1976.
The Museum’s collection is particularly rich in examples created by the most talented cabinet masters then active in Paris, including Bernard van Risenburgh II (after 1696–ca. 1766), Jacques Dubois (1694–1763), and Jean-François Oeben (1721–1763). Working for members of the French royal family and aristocracy, these craftsmen excelled at producing veneered and marquetried pieces of furniture (tables, cabinets, and chests of drawers) fashionable for their lavish surfaces, refined gilt-bronze mounts, and elaborate design. These objects were renowned throughout Europe at a time when Paris was considered the capital of good taste.
The entry on each work comprises both a curatorial section, with description and commentary, and a conservation report, with construction diagrams. An introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas traces the collection’s acquisition history, and two technical essays by Arlen Heginbotham present methodologies and findings on the analysis of gilt-bronze mounts and lacquer.

The free online edition of this open-access publication is available at and includes zoomable, high-resolution photography. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.

About the Author
Gillian Wilson was curator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1971 to 2002.
Arlen Heginbotham is conservator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Anne-Lise Desmas is senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Antiques & Collectibles, Baroque & Rococo, Permanent Collections, Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum, Furniture, J . Paul Getty Museum, Design, California, 18th century, France, European, Art, History
Open Access Information

License: CC BY-NC