On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 526

The principal source not only of heat but also of light, the fireplace was one of the focal points in the eighteenth-century interior. Various materials could be used for the mantle but in the eighteenth-century France, marble was often selected such as Brèche d’Alep, a popular marble showing colored inclusions in brown, grey, red or black colors against a yellow ground.

Consisting of two uprights in the shape of consoles with a voluted capital at the top, and a frieze carved with a rocaille shell in the center, this mantle reflects influence of the Rococo style. The bow-shaped shelf above was often used for the display of various objects such as a so-called garniture de cheminée, consisting of a set of vases of different shapes and sizes which would be beautifully reflected in the over mantel mirror behind.

Chimneypiece, Brèche d’Alep marble, French

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