The Troubadour style

When, a few years after the French Revolution, the artists of the Salon are seized by a passion for the medieval past, the critics invent a word that will have an important destiny : the Troubadour style.

Crossing the Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance styles, the Troubadour style characterizes all decorations inspired by History as well as legends, that immerse us in scenes from a dreamy past. From Vercingetorix to Francis I, passing through a horde of medieval knights and king’s jesters, the Troubadour style infiltrates all the daily objects, fearing no anachronism nor any mix.

It particularly develops under the Restoration, favored by the Duchess of Berry and the Countess of Osmond, and will gain popularity until the end of the century. The Troubadour style thus formed the taste of major art figures, such as the Count of Nieuwerkerke, Viollet-le-Duc or Gusatve Doré.

Discover our selection of Troubadour style antiques :

The Art Deco style

At the beginning of the 20th century, the enthusiasm for the dazzling progresses of industries stimulates a stylized, geometrical art, revealing the beauty and richness of the new world. As soon as 1910, early refined and regular-shaped works are realized, distancing themselves from the Art Nouveau asymmetries and undulations. It is in 1925, at the Paris International Exhibition of Decorative Arts, that the new style affirms its importance and causes a sensation.

Art Deco is rich in colorful ornamentation in architecture, favoring the geometrization of forms: human figures, plants, flowers, take stylized forms. The progress of Industry is put at the service of art to create impressive ironworks, immense glass windows, perfectly mastered forms.

Emblem of the Roaring Twenties, Art Deco reflects the pride of the modern world, adopted as well for the decoration of the most famous skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building, or by couturiers Jacques Doucet and Jeanne Lanvin. Timeless, Art Deco remains an important source of inspiration, especially in decoration and interior design. The "Metropolis" fireplace created by the Maison & Maison designer is a perfect example.

Discover our selection of Art Deco antiques :

Pierre-Joseph Guérou

Pierre-Joseph Guerou, painter of flowers from the Sèvres Manufactory, is known to have executed the decoration of Empress Eugénie’s jewel case held in the palace of Compiègne. This piece of furniture bears the rare porcelain inlays by Julien-Nicolas Rivart, which painting was only signed by Guerou.

The Marc Maison Gallery has endeavored to find furniture items signed by Guérou, and today has in its collection some other rare examples of this painting. Guérou’s color is indeed remarkable for its luminosity and contrasts, and the precision of his stroke testifies to a real careful observation of nature.

Rivart's porcelain flowers owe their beauty to the hand of this romantic-generation painter, who knew how to give them an oxymoronic freshness.

Julien-Nicolas Rivart

Julien-Nicolas Rivart (1802-1867) is the inventor of a hitherto unseen technique, which never afterwards could be reproduced : porcelain marquetry. Patented in 1849, it enables to inlay a painted decoration without taking more space than necessary, and to left exposed the beauty of the support’s other materials.

Applied in furniture pieces in rosewood, ebony, mahogany, but also in velvet or leather, these incrustations have the bright colors and the delicacy which is proper to porcelain painting. They are admired at the Universal Exhibitions of 1851, 1855 and 1867, for they are in fact perfect examples of the technical emulation in the age of the great inventions.

Adopted by the most prominent cabinet-makers like Tahan and Alphonse Giroux et Cie, Julien-Nicolas Rivart’s process has seduced the aristocracy, and even sovereigns such as Napoleon III, Eugenie de Montijo and Queen Victoria.

The andirons

Necessary for the good combustion of fire since the early Antiquity, the firedogs, or andirons, are placed under the logs and allow the circulation of the air. It is certainly their role as “guardians” of the fire that earned them the name derived from the word “dog” since the Middle Ages. First made of wood, they are quickly designed in wrought iron.

The decorative heads of andirons, symmetrical and made of copper, developed in the Renaissance and in the 17th century, are often adorned with a ball. However, it was with the gilt bronze of the 18th century that andirons models multiplied, becoming real sculptures: animals and chimeras guarding the hearth, scenes of gallantries or elements of architecture.

The Louis XV and Louis XVI style models have invaded all the Châteaux and Mansions, including the Versailles Palace, and have remained sources of inspiration for the 19th century. The latter will be particularly interested in this medieval object, the rustic iron manufacture of which he also rehabilitated, and that it coated in Neo-Gothic fantasies.