Friday, May 10, 2019

Marie-Antoinette and Japanese Art

Marie-Antoinette was fascinated with the Far East and the arts of both China and Japan. From The Iris:
The lacquer box in the form of a small dog is one of the most popular objects in the exhibition A Queen’s Treasure from Versailles: Marie-Antoinette’s Japanese Lacquer at the Getty Center until January 6, 2019. Such zoomorphic items in Japanese lacquer were highly coveted by collectors during the eighteenth century, and Marie-Antoinette’s example was evidently one of her favorite pieces. In her private sitting room at Versailles, the royal palace just southwest of Paris, she placed it in a prominent spot on a table veneered with petrified wood and ornamented with gilt-bronze mounts next to the fireplace. There, visitors would not be able to escape noticing it. The queen’s guests would have wondered, as we do, how such an extraordinary object came to Versailles. The box has had quite an exciting existence, as is evident by tracing its history from the time it was made in Japan. (Read more.)

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