“Paris: Life & Luxury” is the brain child of Charissa Bremer-David, Getty Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, accomplished with the assistance of Peter Björn Kerber, Assistant Curator of Paintings. It is one of those rare exhibitions that bring together all media in our specialty of French 18th century, including paintings, drawings and every aspect of the decorative arts. The mixing of media in the exhibition even extends to music with a harpsichord from the Metropolitan Museum accompanied by a recording of an 18th century composition played on a similar instrument.
Sixty per cent of the works of art come from the Getty’s own incredible collections but they have also borrowed from twenty-six museums and private collections in several countries. Stiebel, ltd. lent an important pair of pastels by Jean Valade of the Marquis and Marquise de Favantines.
We offered it to the Wrightsmans, great patrons of the Metropolitan Museum. Charlie Wrightsman, however, found the subject too risqué and passed on it. A few days later Baron Thyssen came in and snapped it up and it is now in his museum in
The Getty found it so appropriate and eye catching that a detail from the picture became the logo for the exhibition with banners all over. The image below was at the Getty Center.
One of my favorite exhibits with a Stiebel provenance is called a Planisphere. Attributed to Jean-Pierre Latz It is a Rococo marquetry and gilt bronze long case clock over 9 feet tall surmounted by an orrery (a three dimensional view of the solar system
There is something very satisfying in a well thought out exhibition. It was particularly rewarding to see the unexpected crowds of visitors, fascinated by the very same works they would have passed by quickly in the permanent galleries, but were made engaging and accessible by their interpretation as part of daily life.