Friday, January 1, 1971

Carel (Master in 1732)


Carel 
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Carel (master in 1732) was a master cabinetmaker of solid, serious talent, who left his large mark on a limited number of pieces. He seems to have specialized in the manufacture of large items of furniture such as writing tables, secretaires and commodes. All of them have the same characteristics: rather crude lines and a somewhat basic frame. We can sense that Carel was not a Parisian master and that he was not subject to the delicate and refined influences of the art practiced by his contemporaries who worked in the capital. Carel, however, was a sound and conscientious cabinetmaker whose works did not lack nobility. 
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Carel, a skillful cabinetmaker who worked toward the middle of the reign of Louis XV, is unfortunately only known by his mark. According to the genre of his works and the provenance of some of them, he seems to have lived in a city in southeastern France. It would be tempting to think that he was the son or relative of a journeyman-cabinetmaker named Jacques-Philippe Carel who worked at Th. Hache in Grenoble and married in that city in 1712. But the latter was Parisian by birth and could very well have been linked to two joiners of the same name who also lived in Paris, Etienne and Nicolas Carel, known for having taken on major projects in the royal houses between 1660 and 1695. Whatever the case, the individual that interests us was among the best regional craftsmen of the period. His furniture, with its firm and supple design, a little heavy perhaps but not at all ungainly, has kept a piquant rural savor. 
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L'Art et la Manières des Ebénistes français au XVIII° siècle. Jean Nicolay Guy Le Prat - Paris 1956. 
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Les Ebénistes du XVIII° siècles Comte de Salverte Vanoest, les éditions d'art et d'histoire Paris 1953.