Charles-Honoré Lannuier Chairs in City Hall


Lannuier Armchair in the City Hall
Lannuier armchair in the City Hall

Even though paintings by Trumbull fill the walls, the armchairs made by Charles-Honoré Lannuier are my favorite objects now displayed in the Governer’s Room of the City Hall.

The amrchairs are of the most important historic furnishings even though the city is proud of having a large collection of Lannuier works in its major museum.s This is because not only seating furniture are rare by Lannuier but also it was his only public commissioned work.

The chairs are not as flamboyant as his later Empire style works. The backs are derived from the French neoclassical forms of Louis XVI while the urn-shaped supports are English and the carved legs with reeds and water leaves are quintessentially New York.

Based on a painting by John Wesley Javis of DeWitt Clinton, the chairs were probably upholstered in crimson red. But now the fabric is of bluish green, echoing the color of the walls and the curtains.

Lannuier should be happy to know among the famous celebrity who may have used the chairs he made there are President-elect Abrahamm Lincoln in 1861, Marquis de Lafayette, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 – 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that “his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.


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