by Barbara Laux
Amsterdam University Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-90-485-5698-4 | Cloth: 978-94-6372-928-4

Claude III Audran, Arbiter of the French Arabesque is the first substantial biographical study of Claude III Audran, a late 17th- and early 18th-century master of ornament and a proponent of cutting-edge design who took inspiration from contemporary sources. This work investigates Audran’s accomplishments and the factors that impacted the longevity and arc of his successful career, taking into consideration the contextual variables that influenced and shaped his work. Audran’s achievements bridge an important period with the eclipse of the Guild Maîtrise and the rise of the Académie royale. Audran subcontracted young artists, such as Watteau, Lancret, and Desportes, in order to circumvent restrictions on guild practice enacted by the crown. Looking at his commissions not only reveals the elite taste of his patrons, including Louis XIV, but also Audran’s ability to use elements from popular culture to animate his arabesques, which created hallmarks of rococo interior design.

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