Gabriel Viardot (1830-1906) (attr. to), Wall mirror, Paris, c. 1880
Carved sycamore wood, mirror glass
Acquired with the support of Michel and Hélène David-Weill, 2002
© Les Arts Décoratifs / photo: Jean Tholance
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Gabriel Viardot began his career as a cabinetmaker in 1849. He soon made a name for himself by producing pieces freely inspired by oriental furniture, which he adapted to European taste. In his case, “Asianism” might be a more appropriate term than “Japanism,” as he drew inspiration from Asia as a whole, and more especially from Chinese art. His production is characterized by dragons, present on this mirror. In addition to finding inspiration in Asian furniture forms, he fitted his pieces with panels imported from China and Japan. Gabriel Viardot’s creations were very successful: he was awarded a silver medal at the Paris World’s Fair of 1878, and gold medals at the Exhibitions of Antwerp in 1884 and Paris in 1889 and 1900.