The craftsmanship of chasing and gilding is a lengthy and complicated procedure (watch video below). Basically, Gouthière would create moulds after an architect’s drawn designs. After the moulds were cast, he would work on the surface of metals by hammering to create all of the textures of the designs, and then he would gild them.Share
Working like a sculptor and jeweler, Gouthière’s chasing and gilding skills were so high that his pieces sold at prices equal to, or higher than, paintings and sculptures by his contemporaries—Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher, Étienne Maurice Falconet. Auction houses would always mention Gouthière’s name when selling his neoclassical pieces—rarely the case for other decorative artists.
The neoclassical style of 18th century France, imbuing analytical restraint and moral clarity, can come across as rather cold. Gouthière’s pieces, in contrast, while also lofty and harmonious, are infused with warmth and vitality. (Read more.)