The Making of a Gilt-Bronze Object in Eighteenth-Century France

This video follows the step-by-step reproduction of a knob for a French window that Gouthière made about 1770 for the pavilion of Louveciennes, the residence of Louis XV’s mistress Madame Du Barry (the original is presented in the Lower Level gallery, in the introductory section of the exhibition). The reproduction was made in 2016 by three European craftsmen. Some of their drawings, models, and molds, as well as the knob at different stages of completion, are displayed in the exhibition, in the Cabinet Gallery.

As both a chaser and a gilder, Pierre Gouthière used a variety of specialized tools to create patterns and textures on cast metal objects before fire-gilding them. The complex techniques of chasing and gilding also involved other specialties; some of these, like making models in wax and wood, were typically performed by Gouthière and his workshop, while others, including casting, were subcontracted. The original designs were most often the work of celebrated architects and sculptors.

  • Pierre Gouthière: ciseleur-doreur du roi

    La vidéo ci-dessus explique les techniques de ciselure et de dorure employées par Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813). Elle a été produite pour accompagner l'exposition « Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court », qui se tient actuellement à la Frick Collection, jusqu'au 19 février 2017. 

  • Pierre Gouthière, Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court

    A technical explanation of the process of bronze chasing and gilding used by Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813). This video was produced in conjunction with the exhibition Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court, on view at The Frick Collection from November 16, 2016, through February 19, 2017.   


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