The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

Meuble de style JAPONISTE

Friday 18 December 2015, by Barbara Cogollos

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Rare small cabinet between two Japoniste style. Blackened wood, decorated with 3 lacquer panels representing animals and plants. On 4 feet sculpted in the shape of Fô dogs. Interesting work including sculpture including foliage and original heads of small Asian characters. Marble top griot. Parisian work.

JPEG - 312.8 kb
117cm (hauteur) x 84cm (largeur) x 46cm (profondeur)

The japoniste style is an aesthetic current present in the West, particularly in Europe, throughout the nineteenth and, to a lesser extent, the twentieth century. In fact, the love of the European public for Japanese art, "chinoiserie" ride up in the seventeenth century. Indeed, with the discovery of Japan by the great merchants explorers (particularly Portuguese) in 1643 and the import of Japanese goods in Europe, the public discovers these exotic objects, Japanese craftsmanship quickly becomes a reference, lacquer panels decorate dressers, secretaries and office, Japanese ceramics encounter a huge success. Then in 1639 Japan, frightened by the social changes brought about by the meeting of the European peoples, ceases all contact with foreign powers. Despite the closure, some countertops remain open for Dutch merchants on the island of Dejima.

In 1854, the Kanagawa agreement lays the foundation for the reopening of Japan. Then, in 1867, with the great Universal Expositions Japan has a window on the world. Consequently, countless products of Japanese art craftsmanship swept into Europe. European audiences revel in the "chinoiserie". The Japanese influence is considerable at all levels, major artists are inspired by Japanese prints (including artists like Van Gogh, Degas etc), the posters also allowing to democratize this new aesthetic. Ceramics and glass are also greatly influenced by Japanism, particularly in terms of shapes and colors.

But it is mainly in furniture of Japanism movement goes the most express it. Indeed, it must be understood that this half of the nineteenth century, interior design and art furniture through a serious crisis: aesthetic trends born under the First Empire fall into disuse. The large cabinet as Beurdeley, Dasson turn to styles of the past and show an absolutely perfect mastery of their skills. It presents real masterpieces to exhibitions, but parallel, juries and the public begin to press for see current and accessible furniture. It is in this context that was born the Japonist movement. Cabinetmakers discover naturalistic themes, exotic and strange. The Japanese aesthetic brings stylization, asymmetry. Japanese art seems to be the solution of way out of the impasse aesthetics where it is immersed Europe in the late twentieth century.

Great decoration of houses based on their reputation the japonist furnishings, houses like the house Alphonse GIROUX, the house DUVINAGE, cabinetmaker designer Edouard LIEVRE etc. Despite japonist wave, many talented cabinet makers continue to manufacture stylish furniture, this contrast between two styles, two fundamentally different ways of thinking leads to an exaggeration of the styles. This extreme side, caricatural, very present on the furniture between two style that we propose is absolutely typical of Japanism in France.

Japanism remains a very Parisian movement, it represents the second of the nineteenth century the height of chic, good taste and fashion. This movement also allows cabinetmakers and Parisian artisans to improve their techniques and methods. They not only use lacquer panels but also cloisonné enamel, crystals engraved etc.

Japanese art is characterized by the discovery of asymmetry, natural ornaments such as flowers and animals. The house GIROUX stay specialized in Japanese art "eccentric", their furniture are decorated with carved legs recalling Asian animals (tigers, elephants etc). The caricatural side of the productions of the house GIROUX ensures their considerable success.

Although a relatively unknown style, the Japanism has a considerable importance in the history of the evolution of French decorative styles. Not content with having marked the eighteenth furniture with beautiful lacquer panels, crafts and Japanese aesthetics enabled the decor and French furnishings to evolve and take a second wind. Indeed, it is thanks to the ideas brought by the Japonist style (nature, asymmetry, modernity) is born of Art Nouveau.

The cabinet between two style that we propose belongs to this rich period of Parisian creation. The unpublished sculptures present on this furniture, including dog feet Fô or Asian faces make this furniture a very interesting piece. His eccentricity and his ornamental character are brought up to the work of the house GIROUX stay.

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