Psyché de Berthe Morisot
amarante ; citronnier ; ébène (incrustation) ; bronze (doré) ; peinture sous verre H. 200 cm ; l. 107 cm ; P. 46 cm ; VOLUM. 0,9844
legs Rouart Thérèse (testateur) (1996)
This ensemble comprising a gueridon and a full-length mirror (psyché) comes from the estate of Berthe Morisot. It was inherited by her grandson, Julien Rouart. The gueridon comes from the drawing room in the artist’s Parisian home in Rue de Villejust (now Rue Paul Valéry). The charm of the gueridon lies in the decoration of the top in verre églomisé (gilded glass with a design applied to the back) with a central medallion around a putto perched on clouds. Its simple base comprises a column supported by a tripod base. A number of motifs surround this central motif, including swans. The psyché mirror appears in the background of several works by Berthe Morisot, one of which, titled indeed The Psyché, was executed in 1876 (Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza). The psyché, a full-length mirror that came into fashion in the late 18th century, usually comprised a mirror, generally rectangular, topped by a pediment and mounted on pivots so that it could be tilted. The general solidity of the piece and the plainness of the bronzes are redeemed by the delicate inlay of ebony and boxwood forming clusters of foliage, rosettes, and stars. The dark ebony contrasts with the light yellow, moiré ground of the lemonwood, the use of which became common in the late 18th century, especially during the Directory and the Consulate. The decoration in verre églomisé placed under the mirror is another precious feature on this model. It shows a triton and Venus framed by two swans.