André Charles Boulle was a famous French cabinetmaker and sculptor, known as an outstanding master of Baroque marquetry.
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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 gilded bronze furnishings, 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.
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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 gilded bronze he modeled by himself. One of his masterpieces is a baroque cabinet (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-marquetry in 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.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Charles_#/media/File:A_cabinet-on-stand_attributed_to_Andr%C3%A9-Charles_at_the_Getty_Museum.jpg
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Defining Features of Boulle’s Style
He defined the style of Louis XIV, which had elaborate brass – bronzed ornamentation (sometimes engraved) and tortoiseshell marquetry. Also, he incorporated exotic woods from 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 by Raphael, Rubens, and Italian engraver Stefano della Bella.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Charles_ http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/interior-design-and-home-furnishings-biographies/andre-charles-boulle https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/getty-museum/getty-decorative-arts/a/masters-of-marquetry-in-the-17th-century-http://www.wallacecollection.org/whatson/treasure/94 https://www.britannica.com/biography/Andre-Charles-