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There is a grand tradition with French decorative arts; this know-how is important for maintaining centuries of legacy in design and decor and so the skills can be modernised and passed on to future generation.

Atelier Mériguet-Carrère has been designing and renovating the artistic decorations for unique locations since 1960, including private residences and historical landmarks.

You can find their fine work in Embassies, Hotels, Monuments, Museums, Operas, Private Yachts, Restaurants and Shops. You have seen their magnificent work if you have seen the ornamentation and details in Château Versailles, the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany in Paris, France, Garnier Opera House, Hotel de Crillon, Laduree Boutiques in London, Monaco and Paris, to name a few.

A Glance at The Decorative Arts

Across the history of arts, there have been moments that gave rise to great craftsmen that coincides with a creative mood and an abundance of wealth, resulting in a series of masterpieces of fine art and design. Some notable moments in history include: The Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (2680-2180 BCE) produced the incredible architecture of the Pyramids; the Greek Classical era (480-323 BCE) produced the Parthenon and a variety of astounding marble and bronze statues; the Italian Renaissance (1400-1530) produced exquisite paintings and sculptures; and the Catholic Counter-Reformation (1540-1700) produced incredible quadratura and trompe l’oeil architecture, as well as intensely spiritual art. It also gave birth to the Fontainebleau School in France, which was a significant forerunner of things to come.

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Atelier Mériguet-Carrère, artisan in studio

Why French Decorative Arts are Important

Another such time in history was the 17th and 18th centuries in France that saw a unique blossoming of many different types of art, including furniture, tapestry, small-scale sculptures, ceramics, and a variety of metalwork, furnishings, carvings, mouldings, and other crafts. A birth of great craftsmen, cabinet-makers, and a hundred other types of artist laboured to produce the more extraordinary masterpieces of decorative art at the great Palace of Versailles, in the royal chateaux, in the houses of noblemen, and in the great churches and public buildings. They possessed the skills; the King had the funds; the Royal Court needed to be decorated, and the aristocracy required new fashions. This was a supremely monumental historical moment of supreme achievement. This is why French applied art from this era is so valuable.

The three reigns of the three Kings of Versailles are generally used to divide up the decorative arts in France from 1640 to 1792 into largely self-contained periods:

Louis the Fourteenth (Quatorze) (XIV) (ruled 1643-1715)

Louis the Fifteenth (Quinze) (XV) (1715-74)

Louis the Sixteenth (Seize) (XVI) (1774-92)

Keeping Important French Decorative Arts Alive

Their highly skilled artisans are capable of handling a wide range of projects, from restoring centuries-old décor to creating the most ambitious and audacious contemporary creations. With a variety of specialties, including painting, painting on canvas, and embossing and gilding leather, all complement one another. They strive for the highest level of excellence in all artistic techniques they undertake. This is vital for maintaining the demands of this kind of creation and upkeep into the future. There is such beauty in this kind of design. The soul of the creator shines through, that celebration of what marvelous creations are passionately crafted by traditional arts.

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Chateau Versailles Hall of Mirrors

Atelier Mériguet-Carrère Technical Skills and Know-How

Their extraordinary work covers a span of abilities to restore and maintain antiques and new spaces made to look beautifully aged and with great personality. Their skills spans great know how and expertise.

Painting and Decorative Painting

Atelier Mériguet Carrère has considerable expertise in faux bois and trompe l’oeil painting techniques imitating stone and marble in the grand tradition of the French decorative arts. Evidence of their expertise is found in the world’s most beautiful and significant historic and modern rooms. Over the span of their history they have mastered the meticulous preparation of surfaces, a craft that is critical to the perfect execution of the final painted décor, thanks to their many years of experience and skills refinement.

They have also kept their skills future-focused by developing new methods and materials that allow them to push the boundaries of traditional techniques. The result is that they have the ability and ambition to satisfy the desires of the world’s most renowned and celebrated decorators and their clients.

Restoration and preservation of painted decors

The careful adherence to historical art and design principles, are essential to the restoration of classic decors, and have always been a core value of Atelier Mériguet Carrère. Despite how mechanical this kind of work may appear, it actually involves knowledge that can only be obtained via arduous and consistent practice. The practice goes further than where science alone would have in the restoration of painted ornamentation. Because they build on and replicate their earlier accomplishments in their pursuit of excellence, the works of Atelier Mériguet Carrère are among the most accomplished in the world. To achieve a magnificent piece requires regular communication between artists, their full attention to detail, the use of the right equipment, and absolute unwavering patience.

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Boucheron, Place Vendôme, Paris, France

Gilding

Gilding is a decorative technique that involves applying a thin layer of gold to solid surfaces such as metal, wood, porcelain, or stone. A gilded object is also referred to as “gilt.” Where metal is gilded, the metal beneath has traditionally been silver in the West, to make silver-gilt (or vermeil) objects, but gilt-bronze is widely used in China, and is also known as ormolu in the West. Hand application and glueing of gold leaf, chemical gilding, and electroplating, also known as gold plating, are all methods of gilding.

Atelier Mériguet Carrère is able to restore and create gilded works in all types of media and levels of ornamentation because our artists are knowledgeable about ancient processes. Both water-based and oil-based gilding processes are used at our atelier.

Embossed Leather

Since their inception, the Atelier Mériguet-Carrère has been known for their expertise in embossed gilded leathers. Their artisans use traditional leather gilding techniques that date back to the 6th century in North Africa. They can also produce gilded leathers and replicate the colours and feel of antique leathers. These can be used in a variety of projects such as wall coverings, upholstery, and leather goods.

We Need Decorative Arts, They Are Essential

The line separating the fine arts from the decorative arts was blurred by John Ruskin’s assertion that the fundamental element of all art is to hand-craft what the eye sees clearly. He inspired William Morris with a new type of interior design that promoted craftsmanship as a way to counter mass production and restore man’s dignity, advocating a renewed experience of nature proper to reveal truth to the beholder.

Today more than ever, we need more counter to the stripped down, overly minimalist and over simplified, and instead, better, we have a feast for the eyes and soul in the everyday.

For more information visit https://ateliermeriguet.fr/

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