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Percier's wooded garden reminds us that Gretry, an acquaintance of Voltaire, bought L'Hermitage in the Feret de Montmorency, near Paris, which had formerly been the home of Rousseau. Anacreon, lyric poet of the 6th century BC wrote songs of love and wine at the artistic court of his patron, Polycrates, ruler of Samos, which Percier depicts here with light-hearted, and seemingly temporary structures in the tradition of those produced until the Revolution by the French royal office of Menus-Plaisirs. (These influenced Robert Adam's architectural 'Illumination and Transparency' in the gardens of Buckingham House which Queen Charlotte commissioned for George's III's birthday in 1762. The quadrant form of Adam's composition anticipates that of Percier's design for 'Anacreon').
Rich classical details, including candelabra and friezes, are the product of the fruitful years of observation spent with Fontaine in Rome and are related to further valuable products of those years, the two books which he and Fontaine produced in 1798 and 1809 respectively, Palais, Maisons, et Autres Edifices Modernes Dessin's e Rome, and Choix des Plus Celebres Maisons de Plaisance de Rome et de ses Environs.
Percier's central pavilion, serving as a Temple of Venus, has an arch breaking into the pediment and may be inspired by a well-known building in the precinct of the Temple of Isis at Pompeii in which a statue of Venus was discovered in 1765. The relation of this imaginary architecture to Percier and Fontaine's better known work as interior designers is suggested by the resemblance of this Temple of Venus to Percier and Fontaine's baldacchino bed, 'execute e Paris pour Mr.O.', published in 1801 and again in their Recueil de Decorations Interieures (Paris 1812).
|Height||379.00 mm||(14.92 inches)|
|Width||622.00 mm||(24.49 inches)|