La Fabrique du luxe, the Musée Cognacq-Jay exhibition on view from September 29, 2018 to January 27, 2019, is a first. For the first time in Paris, an exhibition is devoted to the corporation of Parisian mercer merchants in the 18th century, one of the most important of that century in Paris.
While Diderot described them as "merchants of everything and makers of nothing"(in Encyclopédie), Savary explains that the Corps "is considered the noblest and most excellent of all the Merchants' Corps, especially as those who make it up do not work or do any work by hand, except to embellish things that have already been made and manufactured...".
Parisian mercers were the city's leading collectors, traders and importers of arts and crafts, and contributed to making Paris a major center of luxury in the world.
The merchant's often idiosyncratic character enabled him to build up an international network of top-quality artists and craftsmen (notably from Lyon and China), and to maintain strong ties with the aristocracy. In addition to seeking out rare pieces for their aristocratic clients, merchants commissioned artists to create art fashions.
In the space of just a few decades, an entire codified enterprise was put in place to disseminate French art and luxury goods, with names like Lazare Duvaux and Dominique Daguerre renowned for the quality of their network.
To make themselves known and expand their networks, they developed the mechanisms of advertising promotion, with the help of anonymous illustrators and artists such as Boucher and Watteau.
The exhibition explores the context in which this network flourished, the keys to their success and their innovations, and portrays some of their illustrious representatives.
Dates and Opening Time
From September 29th, 2018 to January 27th, 2019
8, rue Elzévir
75003 Paris 3
Métro ligne 1 station "Saint-Paul"
tarif réduit: €6
tarif normal: €8
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday