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The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts

Item# 80-006745 

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  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 272
  • Illustrations: 257 (228 in full color)
  • Binding: Clothbound, with jacket
  • Dimensions: 8 1/4'' x 11 1/4''
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors:
  • ISBN: 9780300155204



By Danille Kisluk-Grosheide and Jeffrey Munger

The Metropolitans holdings of late seventeenth and eighteenthcentury French decorative arts, unrivaled outside Europe, are displayed at the Museum in eight magnificent paneled period rooms, three galleries, and the windows of a charming carved-oak shopfront. This suite of spaces is named for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, whose extraordinary generosity supported many of the installations and who also donated many of the furnishings from their own celebrated collection. The period roomswith wall paneling reinstalled from historic buildings and furnished with fine contemporary pieces are among the most popular attractions in the Museum.

This volume, the first book on the Wrightsman Galleries since 1979, begins with a historical introduction to the collection and the Galleries. Following are detailed descriptions of the paneled rooms and a selection of the most important and beautiful artworks on view, many of which belonged to the royal and aristocratic families of Europe. In a departure from the earlier guidebook, which was organized by room, these entries are arranged by medium wood paneling and furniture, chimneypieces and fireplace furnishings, textiles and leather, portraits, gilt bronze, porcelain, silver, and gold boxes. The new organization makes it easy to observe changes in style from the Baroque, through the Rococo, to the Neoclassical period, as well as changes in manners and dining customs during those years. The descriptions of the rooms and furnishings incorporate the results of the latest research and include quotations from contemporary dairies, travel guides, treaties, and correspondence. The lively commentary enhances our perception of the people who moved through the rooms, used the furniture, and took snuff from the precious boxes. Each room and every object is depicted in color photographs taken specially for this book. Many of them show details of the furnishings otherwise inaccessible to Museum visitors. There are also many comparative illustrations in color and in black and white.

272 pages, 257 illustrations (228 in full color). 8 1/4'' x 11 1/4''. Hardcover, clothbound, with jacket.

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