This impressive Neo-Renaissance style stone fireplace is in all likelihood a work realized circa 1870 by Edmond Lechevallier-Chevignard, designer of numerous interior decorations in Neo-Renaissance style for french castles, and in particular the fireplace in the Salon Biencourt at the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau.
A pair of solid columns topped with Corinthian capitals mask the jambs that support an entablature carved with lush arabesques. A succession of moldings sets this decor apart from the overmantel, with its central decoration of a carved medallion where a Muse is teaching a musician angel to play the viol. The medallion is set in the middle of a moulded frame, itself framed by two columns decorated with oblong and semi-circle panels.
This fireplace model was conceived by Edmond Lechevallier-Chevignard for the Royal Chimney of the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau, located in the Biencourt salon, which bears a Salamander, symbol of king Francis I. The designer of this famous fireplace supervised as well the decoration of the Chateau of Saint-Roch, including a fireplace where his style and his ornamental choices are also present : imposing columns, a monumental overmantel adorned with a huge medallion in the center of a modeled panneled and framed by pilasters.
Working for the aristocracy in many castles around 1870, his renown certainly seduced the owners of the Chateau of Montgeon who lived there in the 19th century, Firmin de Cavelier de Montgeon and his son Albert de Cavelier de Montgeon. The castle having been dismanteled after a fire, the fireplace was disassembeled, making charcoal drawings of the colmuns appear on the walls, which precisely prove a made to measure decoration work for this exceptional fireplace.
The original fireback is available under ref. 10067.
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Chateau de Montgeon, Le Havre, Normandy. Attributed to Edmond Lechevallier-Chevignard. Circa 1870.
Very good condition.