BOUNTIFUL INVENTION: Drawings by Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742) and Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750), Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 23rd October 2016
Oppenord and Meissonnier are celebrated exponents of the Rococo Style that reached its apogee in France in the reign of Louis XV. In this exhibition, chiefly drawn from Waddesdon’s own collection – there is a loan each from the Courtauld Gallery and the V&A – we get a chance to understand why they are held in such high esteem and why their designs were so eagerly sought after even in their own time.
On view there are sketches and highly finished drawings as well as working drawings and copies for use in printmaking. Their subject matters range from architectural and ecclesiastical subjects to designs for box lids, interiors and so forth. Some were pure whimsy but many others were created by all types of craftsmen into real and usable entities.
Oppenord’s and Meissonnier’s designs spread throughout Europe thanks to the prints made of their drawings and they remained a source of inspiration for successive generations.