Medieval and Renaissance furniture
From the window frame which, according to legend, came from the tower where Joan of Arc was imprisoned in Rouen, to the archbishop's cathedra in the cathedral of Vienne (Isère), to the painted and gilded cupboard which probably came from the workshop of the famous Dijon carpenter Hugues Sambin, The Louvre's collection of medieval and Renaissance furniture tells us a thousand and one stories about the material life, taste and artistic production of this period, in France as well as in Italy and Flanders. It also evokes the rediscovery of this furniture in the 19th century and the frenzy of certain collectors to reconstitute real "period" interiors, to the point of sometimes being misled by forgers. The figures of Charles Sauvageot (1781-1860) and the fascinating Marquise Arconati-Visconti (1840-1923) are among the most prominent of these collectors, who donated their objects to the Louvre, thus enabling the museum to house a collection of just over a hundred pieces of antique furniture, one of the richest in the world, not in terms of number but certainly in terms of quality.
The catalogue of this collection does not only aim to retrace the context of creation, the artistic influences, the uses and the sometimes tortuous destiny of these works. Thanks to a partnership with the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF), it also provides a precise and original analysis of numerous pieces that have been the subject of an ambitious programme of various studies (X-rays, Carbon 14 dating, gilding and polychromy analyses, etc.) and restoration.
Contributions from : Agnès Bos, Christine Chabod, Muriel Barbier, Roberta Cortopassi, Elsa Lambert, Anne-Solenn Le Hô and Pascale Richardin.