A Lav­ish Art and Craft

Where Paris - - Arts& Attractions -

An as­ton­ish­ing ex­hi­bi­tion en­ti­tled Piqué, Gold, Tor­toise­shell and Moth­erof-Pearl in 18th cen­tury Naples is be­ing held by the Ga­lerie J. Kugel re­veal­ing the art of piqué, which flour­ished in Naples dur­ing the first half of the 18th cen­tury. It en­tailed a tech­nique that com­bined lav­ish in­ven­tive­ness, vir­tu­oso skills and op­u­lence. These ob­jects, all of them ex­tra­or­di­nary, bring to­gether three pre­cious ma­te­ri­als, tor­toise­shell, gold and mother-of-peal. The ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes over 50 ob­jects cre­ated be­tween 1720 and 1760, mainly for con­nois­seurs and the court and par­tic­u­larly for the splen­did court of Charles of Bour­bon who would be­come king of Naples in 1734. One of the mas­ter­pieces on dis­play is a shim­mer­ing ta­ble by Giuseppe Sarao on loan for the very first time from the Her­mitage Mu­seum in Saint Peters­burg. The crafts­men who cre­ated the pieces were known as tar­taru­gari and Sarao’s work­shop ad­joined the walls of the royal palace. To cre­ate these ob­jects, the crafts­men would join and mould the tor­toise­shell us­ing boil­ing wa­ter and olive oil and also in­laid gold and the mother-of-pearl into the still soft shells. - P.V.

Show­ing through to De­cem­ber 8th 25 quai Ana­tole France (7th), 01 42 60 86 23

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