• France, 1784
  • Gilded walnut and beech and goldleaf; Gobelins tapestry
  • Inv. 1452

Sofa with corner seats

Jean-Nicolas Blanchard, Barthélémy Mamés Rascalon

A large imposing sofa, upholstered in tapestry with floral motifs, with a triangular seat at each end. This type of sofa (canapé à confidents) belongs to a range of furniture created in the 18th century, the era in which the creativity and skill of French cabinetmakers and carpenters reached a peak.

The carcass of the piece features sculptural decoration of great richness. On the upper trimming, a quiver containing arrows intersects with a flaming torch, held together by a ribbon. Over this group a garland of flowers, predominantly featuring roses and berries sculpted in high relief, stretches out on both sides, ending in cornucopia from which more flowers overflow. All of the woodwork is gilded in gold leaf and bordered by a frieze featuring a garland of flowers. The tapestry used in the upholstery, which was produced by the Gobelins Manufactory in the second half of the 18th century, is not the original.

This sofa was commissioned for the Summer Room of the aunts of Louis XVI at Bellevue Palace and features the stamps of Jean-Nicholas Blanchard, master carpenter, and his colleague, the sculptor Barthélèmy Mamès Rascalon.

Bellevue Palace; Tuileries Palace; Guinness Collection; Hamilton Collection; Foz Collection, Lisbon. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from Wildenstein, January 1931.

H. 118 cm; W. 406 cm; D. 102 cm

Verlet 1990

Pierre Verlet, Le Mobilier Royal Français, IV meubles de la Couronne Conservés en Europe et aux États-Unis. Paris: Picard Éditeurs, 1990, pp. 145–9.

Lisbon 2011

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2011, p. 167, cat. 144.

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