Friday, January 1, 1971

Charles Cressent (b.16/12/1685 - d.10/01/1768)

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Charles Cressent
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Charles Cressent was born in Amiens on 16 December 1685 and died in Paris on 10 January 1768.
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He was, above all, the cabinetmaker of the Regency and the Regent of France, Duc philippe d'Orléans. The son of François Cressent, sculptor of the King, he also studied this art while pursuing his professional training.
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He settled in Paris and in 1719 married Claude Chevanne, the widow of Joseph Poitou, the cabinetmaker of the Duc d'Orléans, from whom Cressent obtained the same title as his predecessor.
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He was a subtle and diversified artist who skilfully decorated his furniture with exquisite marquetry in a harmony of colours, and with bronzes for which he meticulously made the designs. He was so attracted to the art of bronze that he did his own casting and chiselling, thus gatting into legal difficulties for encroaching on the work of bronze smiths.
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Altough most of his colleagues specialised in making seats or suites of furniture, Cressent tried his hand at all types. The crossbow-shaped chest of drawers and the use of decorative ormolu, including the famous "espagoletto", are attributed to him.
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Cressent never signed his bronzes. He only signed his late productions, which are of secondary importance.
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Considered to be one ot the most famous cabinetmakers of the 18th century, Charles Cressent was the master of a rich and sumptuous style (rococo chiselled copper, vertical legs decorated with the head of a woman...) and his bronze work was unsurpassed.
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Comte François de Salverte, Les ébénistes du XVIIIe siècle, Nobele-éditeur, Paris, 1962