André Charles Boulle (1642-1732)

André Charles Boulle was a famous French cabinetmaker and sculptor, known as an outstanding master ofBaroquemarquetry.

Cabinet, Attributed to André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris), Oak veneered with Macassar and Gabon ebony, ebonized fruitwood, burl wood, and marquetry of tortoiseshell and brass; gilt bronze, French, Paris.
Cabinet (1642–1732)

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About His Life

André-Charles Boulle was born in 1642, in the Duchy of Gelders, but he had German origins. In 1672, he became a royal cabinetmaker and sculptor. Then, he worked at the court of King Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King” and lived in the Louvre Palace. There, he produced furniture and gildedbronzefurnishings, such as chandeliers, wall lamps, and decorative items. Following the strict rules of the guild, masters usually could not have two professions at the same time, but Boulle’s privileged position gave him protected status and exempted him from these statutes. Finally, he died in 1732, famous but full of debts.

Eight-light chandelier ca. 1710 Possibly by André Charles Boulle- Chased bronze and gilt, iron, French, Paris.
Eight-light chandelier (1710) Possibly by André Charles Boulle

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His Major Works

André-Charles Boulle created magnificent dressers, consoles, wardrobes, pedestals, watch cases, and lighting fixtures, which were richly decorated with gildedbronzehe modeled by himself. One of his masterpieces is abaroquecabinet (1660) at the court of Louis XIV. Additionally, this piece is a splendid example of taste and luxury. While he never signed his products, many of the works of Boulle-marquetryin the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum are marked as “attributed to André-Charles Boulle.” Excellent examples of his art can be found in Versailles, Fontainebleau, the Louvre, and in Windsor Castle and the Wallace Collection in London.

The J. Paul Getty Museum. Cabinet on Stand; André-Charles Boulle- Paris, France; about 1675 - 1680.
Cabinet on Stand (1675 – 1680)

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Commode, André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris), Walnut veneered with ebony, marquetry of engraved brass and tortoiseshell, gilt-bronze mounts, verd antique marble, French.
Commode (1642-1732) attributed to André Charles Boulle

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B的定义特征oulle’s Style

He defined thestyle of Louis XIV, which had elaborate brass – bronzed ornamentation (sometimes engraved) and tortoiseshellmarquetry. Also, he incorporated exoticwoodsfrom India and South America into his pieces. The technique of marquetry was known before, as it was used by Italian masters of the 16th century, but he experimented and improved it to an extremely fine art. Additionally, he drew inspiration from drawings, prints, and paintings byRaphael, Rubens, and Italian engraver Stefano della Bella.

Clock with pedestal, Case attributed to André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris), Case and pedestal of oak with marquetry of tortoiseshell, engraved brass, and pewter; gilt bronze; dial of gilt brass with white enameled Arabic numerals; movement of brass and steel, French, Paris.
Clock with pedestal (1642–1732)
Close up of clock with pedestal, Case attributed to André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris).
Close up of clock with pedestal (1642–1732)

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