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André Charles Boulle

Boulle or Buhl, André Charles (both: äNdrāˈ shärl bōl) [key], 1642–1732, French cabinetmaker, the master of a distinctive style of furniture, much imitated, for which his name has become a synonym. In 1672 he was admitted to a group of skilled artists maintained by Louis XIV in the Louvre palace, and thereafter he devoted himself to creating costly furniture and objects of art for the king and court. Boulle's pieces, having in general the character of Louis XIV and régence design, were built for the immense formal rooms of the period. Boulle, a master of marquetry, specialized in the inlaying of ebony with precious woods and mother-of-pearl. Large areas were covered with tortoiseshell, inlaid with arabesques of gilded brass. He added splendid bas-relief compositions, as well as sculptured rosettes, masks, and acanthus scrolls, all in gilded bronze. Superb examples of his art exist at Versailles, Fontainebleau, and the Louvre and in England at Windsor Castle and in the Wallace Collection, London. The title cabinetmaker to the king passed to his four sons, Jean Philippe, Pierre Benoît, André Charles, and Charles Joseph.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Interior Design and Home Furnishings: Biographies


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