Feuchère Designs in the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum recently acquired various works on paper relating to the Feuchère family of bronze founders, who had a workshop in Paris during the late eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. Amongst these materials is an edition of Léon Feuchère’s publication L’Art Industriel: recueil de dispositions et de décorations intérieures, comprenant des modèles pour toutes les industries d’ameublement et de luxe … It concealed a hundred preliminary drawings for the volume’s plates, with designs for an array of objects of applied art in various neostyles. The present article compares the publication and the inserted drawings. The latter are also compared to other drawings related to the Feuchère family that the Rijksmuseum acquired. In the process, it becomes clear that underlying Léon Feuchère’s design process was the aspiration to conceive of object and ornament in harmony. The article suggests that this aspiration was related to concerns surrounding the industrialization and commercialization of the production of applied arts.
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