National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: Neoclassical Decorative Arts of the Late 1700s

Overview | Start Tour

image of Combined Toilet and Writing Table (toilette à transformations) image of Roll-top Desk (Bureau à cylindre) image of Writing Table (table à écrire)
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image of Writing Table (table à écrire) image of Work and Writing Table image of Writing Table with Mechanical Fittings (table mécanique or schreibtisch)
4 5 6
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Overview

During the reign of Louis XVI (1774-1792), many French intellectuals called for a moral austerity and social dignity that they associated with ancient Greece and republican Rome. Neoclassicism, adapting ideals from classical civilizations, replaced the pastel frivolity of the earlier rococo mode with a clear-cut sobriety. Eighteenth-century excavations at the ruined cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, provided archeological artifacts to inspire this new, classicizing style. (continue)


Captions

1.
1Jean-François Leleu, Combined Toilet and Writing Table (toilette à transformations), c. 1764/1775
2Jean-Henri Riesener, Roll-top Desk (Bureau à cylindre), c. 1775/1785
3Jean-Henri Riesener, Writing Table (table à écrire), 1784
4Jean-Henri Riesener, Writing Table (table à écrire), c. 1780
5Martin Carlin, Work and Writing Table, c. 1770
6In part by David Roentgen and/or his workshop; in part by an unknown craftsmen, probably French or German 19th Century, Writing Table with Mechanical Fittings (table mécanique or schreibtisch), partly c. 1779, partly 19th century