Suite of eight Louis XV period armchairs "à la Reine"
Signed by Nicolas HEURTAUT, master in 1756
Height 95 cm Width 71cm Depth 60 cm
Nicolas HEURTAUT and Jean-Baptiste Tilliard are certainly the two greatest chair makers of the Louis XV period. From the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to the Louvre, from the Cleveland Museum to the Frick Collection in New York, from the Château de Versailles to the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the works of Nicolas Heurtaut are present in the greatest museums in the world. To understand Nicolas Heurtaut's unusual position, you need to know that before becoming a carpenter, he trained in drawing and sculpture at the Saint Luc Academy, the grail of the time. For eleven years, he drew models and created sculptural motifs six days a week and ten hours a day. This master sculptor of genius was quickly noticed by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard - the crown's carpenter - who made him his favourite sculptor. Afterwards, Nicolas Heurtaut worked for the greatest families as a carpenter after having obtained the double mastery.
Nicolas Heurtaut is the leader of classicism as a carpenter. Balance and proportion are his rules. His sculpture is deep, agile and nervous. In this series of eight armchairs we find several characteristics of the master: the shape of the back with low shoulders, the protruding volutes of the front legs, the double clasp of the front belt, clasp repeated in the side belt.
These armchairs have flat backs, known as "à la Reine". The wood used is beech, of high quality without knots or defects. The cambered legs are perfectly balanced and end in a beautiful acanthus leaf. The state of conservation is remarkable, no damage to the eight chairs can be reported. The wood is sound and the crosspieces are in perfect condition. There are traces behind the crosspieces of an old lacquer applied in the 19th century and removed to restore the original state.
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