Gulbenkian Museum catalogue awarded by the French Academy of Fine Arts

Bernier Prize awarded to the luxurious volume dedicated to the collection of 18th century French jewellery.
16 nov 2023

Recently published by the Foundation, this catalogue, by the renowned Dutch art historian and specialist Peter Fuhring, a long-time collaborator of the Gulbenkian Museum, has 400 extensively illustrated pages and editions in Portuguese, French and English.

The Bernier Prize was awarded in Paris, the 15th November, ex aequo to Gaston Chaissac by Henri-Claude Cousseau, France’s general curator for Heritage, published by Flammarion.

Awarded by the French Academy of Fine Arts, this prize annually recognises a group of artists and authors from different fields such as painting, sculpture, engraving, architecture, musical composition, photography and art books.

The Gulbenkian Museum’s collection of 18th-century French jewellery is unique for its diversity and quality, comprising more than 150 items, including several world-class masterpieces.

The catalogue, which is now available, features a selection of the most important works from this collection, such as centrepieces, tureens, salt shakers, chandeliers and candlesticks, made by various renowned goldsmiths, including François-Thomas Germain, Antoine-Sébastien Durant, Robert-Joseph Auguste and Martin-Guillaume Biennais.

These pieces share the characteristics that make this collection unique: quality and authenticity, craftsmanship and illustrious provenance, particularly from members of the European aristocracy and the Russian imperial family.

Most of these works were acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian in Paris, although an important collection from the Hermitage stands out, having been acquired as a result of negotiations between Calouste Gulbenkian and the Soviet government between 1928 and 1930.

Following an introductory text on Calouste Gulbenkian’s passion for 18th century French jewellery, the pieces are presented in chronological order of acquisition, accompanied by detailed descriptions and analyses, as well as extensive information on inscriptions, provenances and historical and bibliographical sources.

Coordinated by Carla Paulino and designed by Panorama Design Studio, the catalogue has 43 entries and is the result of an exhaustive photographic study carried out specifically for this publication. It also includes a list of secondary jewellery, an onomastic index and all the archive documentation and bibliography that was consulted. The catalogue is available in Portuguese, translated by Rui Pires Cabral, and in English, translated by Emma Mandley.

See catalogue

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