Luigi Valadier (1726–1785) was an extraordinarily inventive Roman metalsmith, talented draftsman, and maker of both table decorations and objects in gilt bronze, marble, and hard stone. His exquisite table centrepieces—produced for popes, royalty, and aristocrats, in Rome, as well as in France, England, Spain, and Portugal—were considered the height of luxury in the eighteenth century, and his fame spread far and wide. This new volume highlights works produced by the Valadier workshop with comparative objects, designs, and transcripts.
Lavishly illustrated, this book is the first complete monograph on Luigi Valadier and the only comprehensive publication on Valadier in English. Shedding new light on the provenance and dating of some work, the volume further identifies the roles performed inside the workshop by the celebrated dynasty of craftsmen that included Luigi’s French-born father Andrea and his son Giuseppe, as well as detailing the Valadier family’s collaborations with other workshops and artists. Luigi Valadier provides an indispensable resource for future scholarship and is a must-have for collectors, dealers, and scholars.
The exhibition Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth Century Rome will be on view at The Frick Collection from October 31, 2018 through January 20, 2019.
Alvar González-Palacios is a decorative arts scholar and the foremost expert on Valadier.
Xavier F. Salomon is the Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection.