Carved and gilded beechwood; olive green velvet upholstery
40 3/8 x 30 1/4 x 24 in. (102.6 x 76.8 x 61cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1971
Not on view
Armchairs with a flat (rather than a curved) back were known as « fauteuils à la reine » for the French Queen Marie Leszczynska (1703–1768) who allegedly favored them during the mid-eighteenth century. They are part of the same set as the two bergères (1971.206.5 and 1971.206.6) also in the Met’s collection. In contrast to the bergères, however, intended to be used in the center of the room, these armchairs were most likely placed against the paneling (meublant) and considered as part of the wall decoration.
Made around 1760, these chairs bear the mark L.CRESSON underneath their frames which probably refers to the joiner (menuisier) Louis I Cresson. It is difficult, however, to attribute this stamp with certainty to a particular member of the Cresson family since ten of them were masters of the Parisian Corporation des Menuisiers-Ébénistes (Parisian guild of furniture makers) in the eighteenth century, four of whom were called Louis. Famous in Paris, Louis I Cresson’s workshop was called « L’image de Saint-Louis ». Among his prestigious clients were the Prince of Condé and the Duke of Orléans. Executed in the rococo style, his chairs are known for their gilded frames in beechwood carved with flowers and leaf motifs. With their fine and elegant decoration, this pair of chairs is emblematic of Cresson’s work.
Signature: Stamped inside back seat-rail to the right and left of center: L. CRESSON
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman , New York (until 1971; to MMA)