February 11, 2021

Visually Stunning Catalogue Blends Curation, Conservation, and the History of French Rococo Ébénisterie, the Masterfully Made Furniture Known for its Sumptuous Surfaces and Lavish Designs

Available for the first time via Getty’s open-access platform, Quire, this visually stunning catalogue blends curation, conservation, and the history of French Rococo ébénisterie, the masterfully made furniture known for its sumptuous surfaces and lavish designs


LOS ANGELES – Starting in 1938, J. Paul Getty began collecting French ébénisterie furniture in the Rococo style, including works by some of the most talented cabinet masters of eighteenth-century Paris, including Bernard van Risenburgh II, Jaques Dubois, and Jean François Oeben. Commissioned by members of the French royal family and various aristocrats, these revered craftsmen produced luxurious furniture, fashionable for their lavish surfaces, refined gilt-bronze mounts, and elaborate designs.

Using Getty’s digital publishing platform Quire French Rococo Ébénisterie in the J. Paul Getty Museum (J. Paul Getty Museum) catalogues the Museum’s collection of twenty-eight pieces of Rococo ébénisterie furniture, including their history across three centuries, changing patterns of taste, and the evolution in techniques of manufacture and the attempts at imitation.

Introductory essays explore the formation of the ébénisterie collection as well as the technical study of the lacquer panels and gilt bronze mounts that are integral parts of these objects. In the entries, a number of surprising, and often hidden, aspects of these intricately crafted objects are revealed, from complex lock systems to secret compartments and carefully matched patterns of wood grain—testaments all to the extraordinary sophistication and skill of their makers.


Gillian Wilson was curator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1971 to 2002.

Arlen Heginbotham is conservator of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Anne-Lise Desmas is senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.



Publication Information:

French Rococo Ébénisterie in the J. Paul Getty Museum Gillian Wilson and Arlen Heginbotham

Edited and with an introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas

J. Paul Getty Museum

318 pages, 8½ x 11 inches

ONLINE: ISBN 978-1-60606-631-7, FREE, link here

E-BOOK: ISBN 978-1-60606-632-4, FREE

PAPERBACK: ISBN 978-1-60606-630-0, US $75.00 / £60.00


US and Canada Publication Date: February 23, 2021

International Publication Date: April 28, 2021


Media Contact:

Sydney Lopez

Getty Publications

(310) 440-6536



About Getty Publications:

Getty Publications produces award-winning titles that result from or complement the work of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Conservation Institute, and Getty Research Institute. This wide variety of books covers the fields of art, photography, archaeology, architecture, conservation, and the humanities for both the general public and specialists. Publications include illustrated works on artists and art history, exhibition catalogues, works on cultural history, research on the conservation of materials and archaeological sites, scholarly monographs, critical editions of translated works, comprehensive studies of Getty’s collections, and educational books on art to interest children of all ages.


About Quire:

Created by Getty, Quire is a modern, multiformat publishing tool designed to create books as authoritative and enduring as print, and as vibrant and feature-rich as the web, from a single set of plain text files. Quire is the cornerstone of Getty’s sector-leading digital publishing program and is currently under development for potential release as open-source software. It provides publishers of any size a free option for producing books and other visually-rich publications, optimized for discoverability and longevity, and inclusive of a variety of features and customizations.


Getty Publications

1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500

Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682


Tel: (310) 440-6536

Fax: (310) 440-7758

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.