A Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord,
Detail of the case cheek decoration
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 they can be seen sharpening their arrows in preparation for shooting some hapless victim and sending him or her into swoons of ardent desire. Other scenes show similar figures engaged, firstly, in target practice and, finally, returning from the hunt with their chosen victim pulled along in a chariot.
The painting has been done in oil, and is painted on a ground of thick gold leaf. This type of decoration was known in the eighteenth-century as ‘vernis martin’ after the Martin brothers who invented and developed this luxurious type of furniture decoration. The putti a remarkably similar to a number of paintings by Boucher in various museums and galleries throughout Europe and North America.
the painting of the Bentside putti
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
A problem 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 30 January 2018.