Pair of neoclassical interior designs in the French taste. In one, an ornate parcel gilt door is decorated with polychrome vase, flower and sheath of wheat motifs, and surmounted by two cherubs contemplating a bust of Athena. The other, a wall panel, features polychrome decoration comprised of a central incense lamp supported by animal heads in foliate and flower design, the lamp producing a plume of smoke supporting a cherub seated on a globe adorned with the signs of the zodiac.
These plates are likely either from a set of 12 Liottier engraved after Cauvet for the 1774 Salon, or from a collection of 64 engravings after Cauvet published as Recueil d’ornements. Such images often served as source material for architects and decorative arts designers to incorporate into their works. In this period, neoclassicism, finely detailed ornament based on classical sources, was in fashion.
Gilles-Paul (G.P.) Cauvet was a French architect, sculptor and ornamental designer. His patrons included the French royal family; he served as sculptor to the brother of the King of France and designed a set of tables for Marie-Antoineette. His designs were strongly influenced by the elegance and simplicity of antiquity. Cauvet also served as director of the Academy of Saint-Luc, and both organized and exhibited at the Exposition of 1774. His designs were also published in Recueil d’ornements [Collection of Ornaments], a collection of 64 plates engraved by J. Le Roy, S.-C. Miger, Martini, Petit, Viel, Hemery and Mlle. Liottier.
Elise-Caroline Liottier (Mlle. Liottier le Jeune) was a French engraver and the daughter of the sculptor Jean-Aimé Liottier. In the Salon of 1774, the father exhibited 12 of her engravings of ornaments after projects of Gilles-Paul Cauvet, who was her professor. She also contributed plates to Cauvet’s Recueil d’ornements and engraved 12 plates in color after Gibelin.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. (Cauvet, Vol. 2, p. 382; Liottier, Vol. 5, p. 596).