Moses Michelangelo Guggenheim

Leading expert of decorative arts in late 19th century Venice, Michelangelo Guggenheim (1831-1910) also was one of the greatest antiquarians and a modern furniture producer in the “City of Water”. His collections stored in the Balbi Palace on the Grand Canal were an outstanding sight, that art amateurs would recomend.

At the age of 20, he founds a "Stabilimento d’arti decorative e industriali" which purpose is the industrial creation of objects bearing an artistic force. The furniture that made him worldwide famous re-imagines ancient styles, freeing their esthetic powers to serve modern imagination. Often in walnut, his pieces of furniture sent to World Fairs impress people by the finesse of their sculptures.

A prized designer as well, he reorganizes princely interiors in the same spirit. His most famous work is the Palazzo Papadopoli's design about 1874, where he unfolds the vocabulary of several periods. He conceives there a richly furnished Neo-Renaissance Cabinet that relived the Italian golden age. For the exceptional result he is awarded the Gold Medal of merit for science and arts by Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Exhibition at the Galerie Marc Maison : an exceptional furniture set created by Moses Michelangelo Guggenheim for the Palazzo Papadopoli in Venice between 1874 and 1881

A major rediscovery for the History of 19th century Italian furniture, the Galerie Marc Maison presents as world exclusive this complete furniture set counting fourteen pieces, including this sublime sculpted walnut Credenza, on the occasion of a unique exhibition in its new gallery at the Flea Market of Paris Saint-Ouen.
Under the direction of the designer and antiquarian Moses Michelangelo Guggenheim, the Palazzo Papadopoli of Venice, owned by the Aldobrandini-Papadopoli brothers, was entirely refurnished between 1874 and 1881. For this sumptuous place, Guggenheim will use decorative languages from several different periods, from Italian Renaissance to Louis XIV and Louis XVI’s reigns, furnishing every room in a precisely determined style. Thus, the Salone Delle Quattro Porte, a grand reception room of the Palazzo, was given an exceptional design inspired by Venetian 16th century, in particular through this furniture set, which was sculpted by the Stabilimento d’Arti Decorative e Industriali Guggenheim directed.

Of outstanding quality, these furniture pieces finely sculpted in walnut enable the great rediscovery of a unique artist who made the worldwide pride of Venice. A true masterpiece, this hardly equaled work, reaching the 19th century decorative arts top-level, owed Guggenheim a Gold Medal for Merit in Sciences and Arts handed by Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Period photograph of the Salone Delle Quattro Porte in Palazzo Papadopoli showing part of the furniture by Guggenheim.

The impressive style of Michelangelo Guggenheim is based on the reappropriation of antique styles, remodeled according to his taste imbued with an extraordinary historical culture. He is thus able to draw his clients into the aristocratic atmosphere of glorious ages, which seduces volunteers all across Europe to design full interiors. Such is the case of the Palazzo Papadopoli, entirely re-decorated by this amazing artist.

The monumental display cabinet from the Salone Delle Quattro Porte, Palazzo Papadopoli, Venice.

Guggenheim had to be inspired by this highly historical place built in 1560 for the powerful Coccina Family, immortalized by Veronese, a family that owned it over two centuries. In 1748, the palazzo passes in the hands of the Tiepolo, from which are the illustrious painter Giambattista Tiepolo, and his son Giandomenico, a painter as well, who made part of the decoration.
In 1864, the brothers Nicolo and Angelo Aldobrandini-Papadopoli become owners of the sublime palace. Bankers, industrialists and parliamentarians at the same time, they launched a massive work of reorganization about 1874-1875, to such extent that one could say : “the 16th century Tiepolo Palace has given birth to the 19th century Papadopoli Palace.”

This undertaking was lead by the architect Girolamo Levi and by the designer and antiquarian Moses Michelangelo Guggenheim. The first was in charge of the work of expansion and modernization of the palace, the second of interior decoration. Guggenheim created a journey through the ages inside the Palazzo Papadopoli, conceived to amaze the guests. He leaned on the rich history of the place to bring it back to life: he gives every room the luxury of a different period, from Quattrocento to 18th century, in a yet achieved harmony. Hence, the “Salone delle Quattro Porte” takes us to the scholarly atmosphere of Venetian 16th century Humanism.

The exhibition of the furniture set originating from the Salone delle Quattro Porte of the Palazzo Papadopoli in Venice, Italy, will take place from march 17th to may 15th 2017 at the Galerie Marc Maison, Marché Cambo, 75 rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (Paris Flea Market).
All the information are on our website :
Telephone : + 33 (0)6 60 62 61 90

The Palazzo Papadopoli on the Grand Canal of Venice.

The exhibition catalog


The “Pompadour” fireplaces

The fireplace called Pompadour, owes its name to the Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764), companion of the king Louis XV, being at the same time his mistress, friend and adviser. She embodies decorative arts of the mid-18th century.

The "Pompadour" fireplace is characterized by two typological criteria:
- an entablature and a shelf slightly curved.
- an entablature and jambs sculpted with a circle surrounded by oblong moldings.
Generally, it has canted jambs.

The soberest model, called grooves and panels, is composed of marble slabs worked in a subtle manner. But the Pompadour fireplace can be closer to the styled-fireplace, of a more lavish production. Hence, we find numerous models with console feet adorned with volutes.

During the Haussmann works in Paris, this model knew a great fortune. This fireplace decorated with molded panels that follows its curves aroused many interpretations. They were realized into very diverse quality and color marbles.

See here our selection of Pompadour fireplace currently available at Marc Maison by clicking here.

The Edward J. Berwind’s Artwork Collection at the Metropolitan Museum, NY.

After making a fortune in his family's mining company, the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company, Edward Julius Berwind was able to collect many works of art and to indulge in his passion for eighteenth-century French art.

Married to Sarah Vesta Herminie Torrey (1856-1922), Berwind did not have any children and left all of his fortune, estates, and art collections to his sister Julia A. Berwind (1864-1961).

Julia Berwind inherited the New York City estate on Fifth Avenue as well as The Elms in Newport and spent the rest of her life maintaining these mansions.

In 1953, Julia Berwind exhibited her collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, without giving up ownership. At her death in 1961, the collection was donated to the MET, where it has been exhibited to this day.

Among the major artworks of this collection, there are two Fantastic Landscapes by Francesco Guardi. These landscapes of ruins inhabited by fishermen and village people, called “Capriccios”, were most likely painted around 1780 to adorn the walls of the Castello di Collorado in Monte Albano, near Udine, North of Venice. Both of these paintings were exhibited by Edward J. Berwind in the reception hall at The Elms.

Other works by great eighteenth-century French painters include:

- Two pastoral scenes by François Boucher that form a pair, painted in 1768.

- “Les Deux sœurs” (The Two Sisters), oil on canvas by Jean Honoré Fragonard, painted in 1769-1770.

- A self-portrait of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard with two students, Marie Gabrielle Capet and Marie Marguerite Carreaux de Rosemond.

- “Madame Philippe Panon Desbassayns de Richemont et son fils Eugène” (Madam Philippe Panon Desbassayns de Richemont and her Son Eugene) by Marie Guillemine Benoist in 1802.

Berwind's taste for art was not limited to paintings, and his collection also includes many tapestries from the Imperial Russian Tapestry Manufactory of Saint Petersburg or the National Gobelins Manufactory of Paris, tapestries based on drawings by Raphael and Giulio Romano.

The collection also includes a significant group of sixteenth-century faience dishes in the style of Bernard Palissy called “Rustiques figulines”.

Finally, there is a Virgin and Child by Joos Van Cleve from 1525, from The Elms.

This exceptional collection, which epitomizes the American Golden Age, was amassed by a connoisseur of refined taste, Edward Julius Berwind. It used to embellish his luxurious mansion and now is kept in on of the world's largest museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Jules Allard et Fils

The Maison Allard was founded in 1832 by Célestin Allard. It first specialized in woodwork and upholstery before expanding its activity to interior design, offering complete interior decors to an upper-class clientele. The company participated in the National Exhibitions from 1844 to 1849 and began to be known in other countries when it opened a branch in Brussels.

In 1860, Célestin's son Jules Allard took over the atelier, whose international success continued to grow. In 1875, he partnered with his two sons, and the Maison Allard was renamed “Jules Allard et Fils” (Jules Allard and Sons); this is how the company would come to be known in America.

The company stood out at the great World Fairs, especially in the 1878 Fair in Paris, where Allard won a gold medal and became a knight of the Légion d'Honneur, the highest distinction in France. During this period, Allard met English interior decorator Richard Morris Hunt, which allowed him to work on the mansions of the wealthiest families of the United States. Thanks to these commissions, Jules Allard opened a branch in New York City in 1885; this way, he could create sumptuous decors for the Vanderbilt and Berwind mansions in New York and Newport. One of his major interior designs, which led to the peak of his fame, was that of the Marble House, Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt's Summer “cottage” in Newport.

He also worked for Edward Julius Berwind, managing the interior design for his estate on Fifth Avenue in New York City and designing the monumental fireplace sculpted by Louis Ardisson and presented on our website.