Style Napoleon III / Ref.10870
Gabriel VIARDOT (Att. to) - Rare japanese style crescent moon-shaped mirror with bronze dragon
Width: 28'' 71cm
Height: 31'' ⅛ 79cm
Depth: 5'' ⅞ 15cm
Circa 1880-1890, France.
In very good condition, with its aged patina. Lacks and wear of the gilding. The mirror is oxidized.
This Japanese-inspired mirror, in bronze and walnut, was realized about 1880-1890. Recognizable by its double inspiration, Chinese and Japanese, and by the presence of a bronze mount, which is characteristic of his work, this mirror is attributed to the prolific cabinetmaker Gabriel Viardot (1830-1904), a specialist in the creation of “Chinese-Japanese genre” furniture and art objects.
While the wooden frame is shaped like a crescent moon, a bronze dragon wraps around the structure like a snake. Its ornemantation details have been crafted with great finesse, like the scales of his flank and his queue. The bent body and protruding muscles stress the movement of this monster, open-mouthed, wide-eyed and with a sharp tongue, who threats the reflection in the mirror. The simplicity of the wood frame is hence bringing out the fine bronze dragon, a motif that one can also admire on the mirror on display at the Orsay Museum.
At the Universal Exhibition of 1867, western artists have the opportunity to visit the Chinese and Japanese pavilions that are as much attractive as they raise questions, by the novelty of patterns, lines but also techniques. In an artistic context in which eclectism and Orientalism are meeting with increasingly blurred borders, the craze for Asian art is on the rise, although it has been known since the 17th century. An eclectic production is born, and Gabriel Viardot is one of its creators.
Born in 1830 in Paris, where he died in 1904, Gabriel Viardot began working alongside his brother Louis before creating his own studio in 1860 and taking over the family business. It was at this time that he devoted himself to the creation of furniture inspired by both Japanese art and Chinese art, a very popular production which earned him several medals at the Universal Exhibitions (1867, 1878, 1885, 1889 and 1900) or even at the 8th exhibition of the Central Union of Decorative Arts in 1884
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