A Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord, originally a 'transposing' harpsichord made in Antwerp in 1617, possibly by Frans van Huffel.  It was given a bass ravalement in Paris in 1750 by François Étienne Blanchet and it was later given a treble ravalement in 1786 by Jacques Barberini and Nicolas Hoffmann.

 

 

Detail of the case Bentside decoration 3

          The outside of the cheek, bentside and tail are decorated with paintings of putti or cupids engaged in various amorous pursuits which, collectively, might be called The Triumph of Love.  Here a monochrome cartouche shows two putti having a quick snog in the darkness. Other scenes show similar figures engaged, sharpening their arrows, getting some target practice and, finally, returning from the hunt with their chosen victim pulled along in a chariot.

 

Compare this with the image below:

The photograph above shows a mirror reversal of the grey monochrome detail in Boucher’s Autumn Pastoral (No. P482) in the Wallace Collection, London.  These two are clearly inspired by the same author and this is one of the many indications that the figure paintings on the Franco-Flemish harpsichord are by François Boucher.

 

Details of the Franco-Flemish harpsichord

 

Important Features of this harpsichord

 

A brief history of the musical and decorative states of the Franco-Flemish harpsichord

 

Details of the original state of the instrument

 

Details of the eighteenth-century states of this harpsichord

  

 Details of the modern history of this harpsichord

 

 Problems encountered in the ethical restoration of this harpsichord

 

 The attributions of the 1750 state to  François Étienne Blanchet, Christophe Huet and François Boucher

 

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This page was last revised on 09 December 2018.