Sunday, August 9, 2015

Project Research: A. Rateau

What's up?  I'm up waiting to get my Disney FastPasses at midnight, so this post comes to you courtesy of the Mouse.

I've been conceptualizing an Ikea hack involving decorative painting, similar to that seen in this screen, Peacock Pavilions or the new(ish) de Gournay paper.  It was press coverage on the new wallpaper that reminded me.....

Turns out, this imagery is the work of Armand Rateau.  [queue post-modern book report]

Armand Rateau was a super exclusive interior designer in the 1920s, Lanvin and the Ducchess of ALba being notable clients.  He designed a lot of bronze furniture pieces, and (per wikipedia) "He became one of the most important designers of the Art Deco furniture and decor movement in France, with an emphasis on Antiquity that also included a focus on Egyptian-based design."  You've seen Jean Lanvin's bedroom, but you might no know it.

It is installed at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and generally floats around the internet.  But I am interested in something more like her dining room screen (the original inspiration piece), also at the Musee.

via DailyAD

The Ducchess of Alba received a three suite room, decorated by Rateau, as a wedding gift from her husband.  (uhhhh, best gift ever!).  Interestingly, no photos of the design survive except for the bathroom.  And lucky for me, it is more of this goodness:

via DailyAD

The design was gold on brown lacquer, and jib doors are cut into it to conceal the toilet, sink, etc.  It was not donated to a museum since it was destroyed when the castle/estate was bombed in 1936 as part of a Nazi/Franco thing....ironic, in that that Duke was a noted Franco supporter.  (The Duchess had died 2 years prior, at 34, of TB. )  The de Gournay paper is said to be copied from the bathroom...which is perhaps why their promo images are of a bathroom ('cause that is the last place I'd put handpainted wallpaper costs well over $1K/roll).  

de Gournay

Another screen:

via Christies

Rateau did a similar scene in silver on silver, for those of you who are all "tone on tone".  

As mentioned above, Rateau was also known for this bronze furniture; the Met bought a peice while he was alive and working (the NYT art critic panned it as childlike/frivolous).  Since the falcon table was estimated to get between $1.9M and $2.7M at Christies a few years ago (didn't try to find hammer price), I'd say Rateau has the last laugh. 
via Chrsities


I can't find any support online, but I find it similar to Lalanne.  Anyone else?  Or too obvious to note?

Detail of Lanvin screen

How and when am I ever going to smack a similar design on my tiny black Rast?  Who knows.  The people who did Peacock Pavilions have a detailed post, but hardly a tutorial.  For now, I'll doodle antelope and rabbits in the margins of my legal pads.  

[And no, I did not get the illusive Meet Anna & Elsa Fast Pass.  I'll be waiting an estimate 50 minutes with the hoipoloi.]

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about Elsa and Anna but wow- so beautiful. Thanks! It will give me strength as I go through boxes and boxes and boxes of things that even I don't know why I saved. Was I hording for a world crayon shortage? Really gotta wonder about yourself when you save EVERYTHING. If it were labeled and accessible then I could pretend I had a purpose for all this stuff.