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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Attributed to John Michael Rysbrack (Flemish, Antwerp 1694–1770 London)
Date: 1745–50Accession Number: 56.234.4
William Linnell (ca. 1703–1763)
Date: ca. 1753–54Accession Number: 64.101.1124
Panel attributed to Thomas Moore (British, ca. 1700–1788)
Date: ca. 1755–60Accession Number: 64.101.1155
Date: ca. 1771–73Accession Number: 55.114
Carved by Jean Antoine Cuenot (French, active London 1744–1762, born Morteau near La Chaux de Fonds, died 1763)
Date: ca. 1755Accession Number: 64.101.1212
Peter Langlois (French, active 1759–81, worked in England 1760–70)
Date: 1764Accession Number: 59.127
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The diverse styles and materials of the works in this gallery reflect the expansion of Britain's commerce and culture in the late eighteenth century. Many craftsmen continued to work in the exuberant Rococo style, using asymmetrical scrolls and ribbons to embellish images from nature. Several objects feature fanciful depictions of foreign peoples and exotic animals, making a playful connection between luxury and amusement. These images were stimulated by Britain's successful maritime trade, which also boosted the market for imported materials such as mahogany and Asian lacquer.
London was home to a broad network of artisans whose innovative designs for porcelain, silks, furniture, clocks, and silver were sold in an ongoing competition with French-made goods. In the closing decades of the century, many aristocrats who traveled abroad preferred the restrained taste of ancient Greek and Roman art. The marble mantle is an early example in the Neoclassical style.
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