Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Ask not what a mirror can do for you-

Above are all Louis XIV mirrors. Fascinating period. As transitions go, probably one of the most significant in the history of art. We leave behind the heavy-handedness of everything that came before, including early baroque, and develop and embrace the ultimate in finesse. Lines become precise, surfaces fantastically smooth- the aim is perfection. For the sake of comparison, here’s a good Louis XIII mirror (time immediately preceding Louis XIV) which is at the Met:

Image result for mirror louis xiii museum

Stunning, but there’s a certain clunkiness to it. A rusticity more in line with the art movements of Spain, Italy or Portugal than what France has come to be known for (after Louis XIV.) It’s interesting that in the early pieces (as the 3 first pictures), despite the refinement of execution, we’ve still got a concept that’s fairly unsophisticated. It’s a rectangular frame with a pediment. Not unlike on a classical Greek building.

 

I’ve poured through my references recently because I wanted to get the hall mirror as right as possible. The first thing I decided to do was unmarry the Louis XIV fronton (top section) and the Louis Philippe (1840’s) bottom section (Steve Ruis & Hariod should be pleased to know). I considered just gilding the whole thing, but it would never have been correct. So I embarked on a journey to find a Louis XIV bottom which was missing its fronton. I located one in Barcelona. So on the left you have the not yet divorced version and then the more appropriately married finished product.

It was worth the trouble because the two parts are really beautifully matched. The gilding matches and after much much paint mixing I got the grey-green  to match as well.

 

 

 

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22 comments on “Ask not what a mirror can do for you-

  1. Tish Farrell
    May 23, 2017

    A fine consummation, Mr. M. Quite stunning in fact. Just goes to show that some dedicated research truly is worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Steve Ruis
    May 23, 2017

    The entire ensemble is stunning. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana MacPherson
    May 23, 2017

    I like this period much better than baroque which, to me, looks like someone puked decoration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re thinking of Rococo, which is late baroque. Most people think the two are the same thing. In effect we’ve got three major movements in the baroque, the first is more rustic, then the fine and formal Louis XIV, then Rococo which is born as a reaction to the rules and symmetry of Louis XIV 🙂

      Like

  4. Helen Devries
    May 23, 2017

    The finished article suits the lines of the table better too….well worth the work in tracking down the right mirror.
    Where will you put the Louis Philippe one?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. john zande
    May 23, 2017

    I can see why you don’t have cats

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bela Johnson
    May 23, 2017

    Yes, I had to learn all this in interior design school. you made a good choice. i’m well placed geographically for my own aesthetic, which is far less opulent. but you’ve done it, and kudos to you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hawaii’s definitely the right place for a relaxed zen aesthetic. This part of France, on the other hand, is very traditional.
      Why don’t you post some pictures of your work sometimes? I love seeing what other people are doing in the world of design.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        May 24, 2017

        You are sweet to ask. Separation of church and state and all – why I don’t post business stuff here on my blog. I’m also not into doing anything I don’t really want/love to do anymore. What I ‘do’ love is online design, a service I offer people who could not otherwise afford a Designer. And the results are rarely photographed – I pop their plan on a CAD, work it out and it’s up to them to finalize the design. But since you asked, here are a few images: belajohnson.com
        Aloha, Pink 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • How lovely! I can feel the island breeze 😀 And the online work is a fantastic idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        May 24, 2017

        Thanks, dearie 😌

        Like

  7. acflory
    May 24, 2017

    ‘…I got the grey-green to match as well.’ Ah hah! I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. The new finished mirror is absolutely stunning – light, airy, perfect. And perfect for that spot too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 It needed something to balance the gold. Too much gold= Vienna, Enough gold= Paris 😀

      Like

      • acflory
        May 25, 2017

        -grin- nice turn of phrase there M. Merveilleux 😀

        Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        May 25, 2017

        And Russia can vary from “just enough gold” to “way too much gold”. I think this is why Trump gets along with Russians so well.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I admit it, I’m not seeing any gray-green in the painted mirror, I must be the only one, it just looks gold to me. But what I am really fascinated with are the walls, is that pattern done with paint, is it wall paper?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The inner and outer edges are gold, but between the two it’s grey-green 🙂
      The diamond pattern on the walls is just lighting. It’s from the cut glass of the bell jar lanterns:

      Like

  9. lifeintrips
    June 6, 2017

    Nice post…

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2017 by in design and tagged , , , , , .
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