Wisteria Room, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (French, Algiers 1865–1953 Le Vésinet), Carved walnut and amaranth

Wisteria Room

Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (French, Algiers 1865–1953 Le Vésinet)
Carved walnut and amaranth
17 ft. 3 in. x 26 ft. 3 in. (3.71 x 5.26 x 8 m.)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 813
This dining room comes from the Paris apartment of the engineer Auguste Rateau. The project was overseen by Lévy-Dhurmer, a ceramist who turned to painting and decorating. Each room was conceived according to a unified theme, in this case wisteria, a symbol of welcome. Lévy-Dhurmer entrusted the execution of his designs to a number of highly skilled makers. The woodwork and furniture were made by Édouard-Louis Collet, who covered the door and wall panels with perfectly book-matched quartered walnut veneer inlaid with purplish amaranth wood representing clusters of wisteria blossoms. The embossed leather chair upholstery was supplied by M. Leroy-Desrivières. The wool carpet was woven at the centuries-old Manufacture des Gobelins in Paris. The bronze-and-alabaster standing lamps were made by Falize Frères, a renowned Paris firm that produced high-end metalwork and jewelry. The fireplace surround was handworked by the metalsmith Jean Dunand.
Auguste Rateau, Paris (commissioned 1910–14 for his apartment, 10 bis Avenue Élysées Reclus; d. 1930); René de Montaigu, Paris (1950–66; purchased in 1950 with the lease for Rateau's apartment; sold to MMA)

Pascal Forthuny. "L'Art Décoratif Moderne: Une salle à manger du peintre Lévy-Dhurmer." La Renaissance de l'art français et des industries de luxe 2 (July 1919), pp. 290–94, ill.

Penelope Hunter in "Western European Arts." Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 256, ill., calls it "Art nouveau room".

Patricia Bayer, ed. The Fine Art of the Furniture Maker: Conversations with Wendell Castle, Artist, and Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, Curator, About Selected Works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. Rochester, 1981, pp. 78–85, ill.

Carol Vogel. "Inside Art: An Art Nouveau Room Thick With Wisteria." New York Times (November 23, 2007), p. E38.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 408, ill. (color).