Paris 1650-1900 Decorative Arts in the Rijksmuseum Reinier J. Baarsen

Publication date:
15 Mar 2013
Yale University Press
608 pages: 305 x 248mm
800 color illus.
Sales territories:


From 1650 to 1900 Paris was the undisputed centre of fashion and taste in Europe. Home to a unique concentration of artists, designers, patrons, critics, and a keen buying public, Paris was the city where trends were made and where novel types of objects, devised for new ways of life, were invented. This book traces the wonderful story of Parisian decorative arts from the reign of Louis XIV to the triumph of art nouveau, through a selection of 150 breathtaking, and often little-known, masterpieces from the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It features an exhilarating mixture of furniture, gilt bronze, tapestries, silver, watches, snuff-boxes, jewellery, Sevres porcelain, and other ceramics, as well as some design drawings and engravings. Specially taken photographs reveal the daring design and beautiful execution of the work of some of the greatest artists and craftsmen of their time. Reinier Baarsen discusses the history and significance of each object, presenting the findings of much new research.
View examples from the Rijksmuseum's collection

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Reinier Baarsen is senior curator of furniture at the Rijksmuseum. He has published widely on the Rijksmuseum's collections.

“Published to coincide with the much acclaimed reopening of the Rijksmuseum, this opulent book of over 600 pages presents a fascinating selection of the museum’s collections of more than 250 years of French decorative arts . . . this remains a magnificent contribution to scholarship on the subject.”—Bertrand Rondot, Apollo Magazine

“Handsome and beautifully illustrated, this catalogue provides the first in-depth study of the Rijksmuseum’s holdings in French early modern decorative arts. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

"This opulent book displays its most important pieces, focusing on the exquisite craftsmanship that defined Paris for more than two centuries – from Boulle marquetry to Lalique glassware. Fascinating on technique, as well as on the historical Dutch taste for French work."—Apollo Magazine

‘Despite the ambitious scale of the project, Baarsen has succeeded in producing a ravishing, scholarly and eminently readable book that will be enjoyed by anyone interested in the decorative arts.’—Helen Jacobsen, Burlington Magazine

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