Régence & Rococo: Portraits and porcelain
The title of the display reflects David Roche’s ideal notion of beauty, whether it be the physical object or attributes of a person. Rococo’s more relaxed and informal style owed a debt to nature which suited David’s desire to bring the garden in doors. Not surprisingly, the rococo style is well-represented in the collection through furniture, porcelain, metalware, and portrait paintings.
The exhibition begins with a superb portrait of Duc d’Orleans and Madame De Parabere daringly titled Adam and Eve, c.1716, by Jean-Baptiste Santerre (France 1651–1717). The Duc was Regent at the time for the young Louis XV and brought a lighter and more convivial approach to the royal court, which he moved back to Paris. The aristocracy followed suit and while rococo art was dominated by the French, some English artists also took note. Foremost amongst these was Francis Cotes, whose painting of Mrs George Rogers, 1768, illustrated the new preference for portraiture set outdoors, within nature.
In the decorative arts, the rococo movement was widely influential, spreading throughout Europe and Britain by the mid-eighteenth century. The style found a willing partner in British porcelain manufacturers of which David collected many examples. Displayed are rare pieces by Chelsea, including the Music lesson, c.1760, as well as a range of important porcelain figurines. The French, however, maximised the potential of combining expensive materials and a Louis XV Inkstand, c.1750, is a fine example. The tray is made from amaranth and tulip-wood, Sèvres porcelain serves as receptacles and Mennecy porcelain, the shepherdess. All mounted in lavish ormolu.
Régence & Rococo: Portraits & Porcelain offers a glimpse of the luxurious objects and portraits created during the eighteenth century as collected by David Roche for his private residence, Fermoy House.
Closes 29 June 2019
Tickets: Adult $7, Concession $5, Children under 5 free
(Ticket covers entry to The Pursuit of Pattern, Régence & Rococo and Neoclassic: Reimagining Empire)