Coypel’s Bed

Parade’s End: On Charles Coypel’s Bed

This paper is concerned with the artists’ lodgements at the Louvre as domestic interior; specifically it addresses the role played by the decoration and use of the bed and bedchamber in fashioning artistic identity. The bed itself does not survive, but an important element of it, the allegorical work Painting Awakens Genius and two preparatory drawings enable its reconstruction. This paper argues that by following the fortunes of Coypel’s bed, including its dismantling, we can learn something important about shifts in the conceptualisation of art and artist in early eighteenth century France.

This paper was presented in The Louvre Before the Louvre conference (convened by Mia Jackson & Hannah Williams) at the Wallace Collection in London on 5 July 2013.

The Louvre Before The Louvre

Artisans, Artists, Academies

Now one of the world’s most famous museums, the Louvre was once a vast artistic and cultural centre of a different kind. This one-day conference addresses the fascinating but little-known period of the Louvre’s history throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, exploring the role this space, its objects, and its inhabitants played in the histories of art production and artistic sociability in early modern Paris.

Eminent and emerging scholars including two guest speakers from the Musée du Louvre will together provide an intimate understanding of the artistic and intellectual neighbourhood of the Louvre and its effect on art and design in the period. Papers on the day will investigate the collective spaces and sociable practices of the Louvre (from the royal academies to artists’ studios), the intersections between personal and professional spaces for the artists and artisans who both lived and worked in the Louvre, and the wider significance of the Louvre in artistic social networks both locally and internationally.

Taking place in the Wallace Collection, which houses one of the United Kingdom’s finest collections of art from this period, this conference offers attendees the opportunity to experience the results of these artistic collaborations.

Generously supported by the Wallace Collection and the Faculty of History of the University of Oxford.