During the eighteenth century, architects increasingly assumed the role of coordinator of interior decoration. This lecture examines the ways in which Parisian architects during the second half of the eighteenth century assembled and communicated with their teams of artists and artisans.
Alex Gordon Lecture in the History of Art, Benedetta Craveri, Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples
After Louis XV’s death, in 1774, his last mistress, Madame Du Barry, retired to her chateau in Louveciennes and morphed from a scandalous maîtresse en titre into an unobjectionable society lady. With her companion the Duke of Brissac, she shared liberal ideas, philanthropic causes, a love of nature and the arts, and an atrocious end on the scaffold.
In 1767, Louis XV appointed Pierre Gouthière doreur seul ordinaire (gilder to the king), thus initiating his long, prestigious career in the service of the French court. In conjunction with the special exhibition, the show’s curator discusses the artist’s life and production, as well as his relationship to the powerful clientele he served. Vignon shares exciting discoveries made while researching the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, which shed new light on what was previously a fragmentary picture of one of the greatest French artists of the eighteenth century.