Object Design in the Age of Enlightenment: The History of the Royal Free Drawing School in Paris by Leben




by Ulrich Leben; Preface by Lord Rothschild; Forward by Philipa Glanville
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: by Getty Publications (2004)
Price: $69.95 with Free Shipping

The Free Drawing School (Ecole royale gratuite de dessin) fulfilled the Enlightenment ideal of an education open to all-rich and poor, male and female – and of an education founded not on apprenticeship and the teachings of one master, but on ideas of every sort and the practical application of universal principles. Established in 1766 by royal decree, the school survived the political turmoil of the Revolution and of the decades that followed.

The surviving documents, engravings, drawings, and objects that can be traced to the school, as well as the impressive number of artisans who trained there – such as craftsman Claude Odiot, sculptor Sebastien Cave, architect Charles Percier, and painter Girodet – and the important figures in eighteenth-century cultural life, including Voltaire, Lavoisier, the duc de Choiseul, and Madame du Barry, who were involved with the school, attest to its enormous importance in the development of the decorative arts in France.


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