The 18th century in France is above all the age of the interior. In architecture, furniture design and decoration there is an explosion of interest in new spaces, forms and techniques. Dramatic changes are made to the layout of the interior; dozens of new types of seating, storage, and surface furniture are devised; and the enhancement of interior surfaces with mirrors, wall lights, and ornament reaches a new height. This lecture explores the extraordinary world of the 18th century interior through architecture, furniture design, and genre painting. It examines the elite home as a complex network of public and private spaces that accommodated the dual desire for display and retreat. In so doing, it aims to demonstrate that the interior was not just a passive setting for the romantic, political and domestic intrigues of everyday life, but an arena that shaped behaviour and desire.
GEORGINA COLE’s interests include 18th century painting, architecture and art theory. In 2010, she received her doctorate from the University of Sydney with a thesis on doors and other architectural motifs in 18th century genre painting. She is currently working on representations of the five senses in 18th century art. Cole teaches the history of art at the National Art School and the University of Sydney and is a regular presenter at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
This lecture is generously supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection
François Boucher (France, 1703 – 30 1770) Portrait of Madame de Pompadour, 1756, oil on canvas, 212 × 164 cm, collection of Alte Pinakothek, Munich, source Wiki Commons