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F. Knothe
The Manufacture des meubles de la couronne aux Gobelins under Louis XIV: a Social, Political and Cultural History

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290 p., 150 b/w ill. + 32 colour ill., 245 x 297 mm, 2016
ISBN: 978-2-503-55320-7
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 165,00 excl. tax
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The cultural importance, dependencies and mechanics of manufacture in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution are understudied areas of research. In the case of French royal manufacture during the ancien régime, art-historical interest first awakened in the latter half of the nineteenth century with the publication of several descriptive texts that made archival sources available to a wider public. This volume on the Manufacture royale des meubles de la couronne aux Gobelins examines the current state of research on the royal workshops and indicates the manner by which this research can both extend and challenge the prevailing trends in the historiography of the Gobelins.

Dr. Florian Knothe studies and teaches the history of decorative arts in the 17th and 18th centuries with particular focus on the social and historic importance of royal French manufacture. Dr. Knothe started his career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art focusing on European Sculpture and Decorative Arts before he oversaw the European and East Asian collections at The Corning Museum of Glass. He now serves as Director of the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, and teaches for the university's Faculty of Art and Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Table of Contents



I. The Political and Economic Context and the Conditions for Royal Manufacture in Early-and Mid-Seventeenth-Century France

ONE:  Patronage and Privileges 
TWO: The Organisation of Artistic Talent and Artisan Skill 

II. La manufacture royale des meubles de la couronne aux Gobelins

THREE: Les artisans du roi—A Family of Craftsmen 
FOUR : The Role of Education and the Creation of a Labour Force at the Gobelins
FIVE: L’hôtel royal des Gobelins—Colonising Royal Artists
SIX: The Representation of the colonie d’artistes  

III. The Gobelins’ Role in Producing Propaganda and its Contribution to the Formulation of a ‘European’ Style

SEVE N: Les Quatre Éléments—A Case Study
EIGHT: Function and Display 
NINE:  Orfèvres du roi and Silver Furniture  
TEN: Ebénistes du roi, Lapidaries, and the Production of Wood Furniture and Pietre Dure Panels 

IV. Artisans du roi, Their Excellence in Expressing Royal Splendour at the Court of Louis XIV and their Influence Abroad

ELEVEN : French Royal Manufacture and the Versatility of Les Artisans du roi 
TWELVE: French Royal Manufacture and Its Tapestry Designs at the Swedish Court—A Case Study 

Epilogue and Conclusion
Appendices, Bibliographyn, Notes


"Insgesamt bietet das Buch (...) eine umfangreiche Untersuchung, die zahlreiche weiterführende Perspektiven eröffnet und der Komplexität der königlichen Gobelin-Manufaktur gerecht wird." (Miriam Schefzyk, in Sehepunkte, 12/17, 2017)

“Knothe’s richly illustrated book on the Gobelins Manufactory is grounded in deep archival research and casts new light on this centre of artistic production, best known for the fine tapestries produced there (…) In revealing the social and marketplace dynamics of the decorative arts in old regime France, Knothe provides valuable insights into the complex communities of makers, merchants and networks of exchange that made France the centre for this industry.” (Robert Wellington, in H-France Review, 29/18, 2018)

“Doté d’un vaste appareil critique, d’annexes et d’une bibliographie quasi exhaustive, ainsi que d’une riche iconographie (182 illustrations dont 32 en couleurs), l’ouvrage du docteur Florian Knothe, constitue une contribution fondamentale pour l’histoire artistique, sociale et économique de l’une des plus prestigieuses institutions du règne de Louis XIV, la Manufacture Royale des Meubles des Gobelins.” (Calin Demetrescu, dans Dix-septième siècle 2018/2, 279, p. 370)

"Les collègues qui connaissent la difficulté de rassembler une documentation dispersée sur plusieurs pays ne pourront que saluer l’immense travail de collationnement et de dépouillement des sources tant écrites (manuscrites ou imprimées) qu’iconographiques qu’a exigé la magnifique monographie de Knothe. (...) Il va bien sûr de soi que toutes les bibliothèques de musée, d’école des beaux-arts et des instituts universitaires d’histoire de l’art se doivent de l’acquérir au plus vite." (Antoine Capet, dans Histara, 2018-11-30)

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Art History (general)
Other art forms

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