André Charles Boulle
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Boulle, André Charles
Born Nov. 11, 1642, in Paris; died there Feb. 29, 1732. French cabinetmaker and master at the court of Louis XIV (from 1672).
Boulle developed his own style of intarsia (a mosaic made from wood, called marquetry in France), using woods of various textures and tones and copper, bronze, tin, ivory, tortoise shell, and mother-of-pearl. With these materials Boulle created elegant, intricate patterns (primarily floral) that gave the formal shapes of royal furniture a wealth of subtle color. The furniture produced in his workrooms (where his four sons also worked) evolved from the classicism of the 17th century to the rococo. It is preserved for the most part in the Louvre (Paris), Versailles, Fontainebleau, and the Cluny Museum (Paris). A great number of imitations of Boulle’s work (the so-called Boulle style, made primarily in the 19th century) can be found throughout Europe.