Watch a video to find out.
Stay logged in
Go to Navigation
Go to Content
Go to Search
Search the collections
Please enable flash to view this media. Download the flash player.
Please enable flash to view this media.
Download the flash player.
Watch a demonstration of Queen Marie Antoinette's Automaton playing one of eight melodies it can perform.
David Roentgen (1743–1807) took his royal patron by surprise when he delivered this beautiful automaton to King Louis XVI for his queen, Marie Antoinette, in 1784. The cabinetry for this piece is very much a neoclassical masterwork, and the mechanism behind it is truly extraordinary: the figure strikes the strings in perfect rhythm with two small metal hammers held in her hands, which move with great precision.
This object, from the Musée des arts et métiers de Paris, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
View a full documentary featuring this object: http://www.cerimes.fr/le-catalogue/la-joueuse-de-tympanon.html
Footage courtesy of CERIMES.
David Roentgen: Long-Case Clock
The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet
(00:02:20) 10549 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
(00:02:17) 16461 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
(00:01:00) 3008 views
Maria Magdalena, Archduchess of Austria, Grand-Duchess of Tuscany
Louis XIII, King of France (b. 1601, r. 1610-43)
Louis XIII, King of France (b. 1601, r. 1610-43) and Anne of Austria, his consort (1601-66)
Browse current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 544
Coiffed and bejeweled in the height of turn-of-the-century courtly fashion, a female nude reclines in a pool of water. The overturned urn and the cornucopia she holds identify her as a personification of a natural spring, a favorite subject of the School of Fontainebleau. The scoop shape suggests that the cup was a toilet accessory, possibly used for bathing, although its fine state of preservation indicates that it likely served a purely decorative function.
Marking: On stickers:
2] 6761 (Berwind list number)
Possibly Émile Gavet (until 1897, possibly this piece; sale, Collection de M. Emile Gavet, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 31–June 9, 1897, no. 514)
© 2000–2013 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.