André Louis Gilbert, maître in 1774.
This late Louis XV marquetry commode belongs to a small and important ensemble of pieces executed by André Louis Gilbert. Together with other celebrated ébénistes, Gilbert made use of this type of marqueterie à motif de ruines, originally popularised by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778) in his views of Rome, in order to decorate his productions. According to Geoffrey de Bellaigue, the pictorial and architectural marquetry panels on these pieces appear to have been made by one or a group of specialty marqueteurs who supplied furniture to Parisian marchands-merciers and ébénistes, including Jacques van Oostenrik, dit Dautriche, Pierre Denizot, Léonard Boudin, Pierre Roussel, Pierre Macret, Martin Ohnenberg, Nicolas Petit, Charles Topino, Christophe Wolff and of course André Louis Gilbert. (See G. de Bellaigue, 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth Century Marqueteur', Burlington Magazine, May 1965, pp. 240 - 250 and July 1965, pp. 356 - 363, and 'Ruins in Marquetry', Apollo, January, 1968, pp.12-16).