Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Chair Gallery at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs

Chairs can have incredible personality.
Their lines and shapes can be as expressive as a haute couture dress. While visiting the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, I was enchanted by their extensive collection of chairs.

The chair, which can be either an instrument of comfort or torture, conveyed the status of the person who was invited to or allowed to sit in it. For example, in the 18th century, there was a rigid protocol in the French court for who was allowed to sit in the presence of royalty.

Over time, stylistic trends in chairs have evolved to reflect the societal, political and aesthetic morays of any given period. Those types of changes were beautifully displayed in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs chair gallery.

Throughout the museum, there were many interesting examples of unusual chairs including this terribly uncomfortable looking Medevial chair dated 1540-1560 from Florence.

This set of chairs were also dated to the 16th century and were chairs designed for Fountainbleu using Italian artisans brought to France by Francoise I.

Photo credits: Ingrid Mida, 2009

The Musee des Arts Decoratifs is filled with eclectic treasures including jewelery, glass, ceramics, furniture, and other ornamental and decorative objects. The Musee de la Mode et du Textile is housed in the same facility but was not open during my visit.

Musee des Arts Decoratifs
Palais du Louvre
107 Rue de Rivoli