Viardot, Gabriel-Frederic

Gabriel Viardot started working as a sculptor at the age of nine. He worked for Maison Jeanselme and became their chief workman in 1845. When he was nineteen, he exhibited at the Horticulture fair in his own name and won his first bronze medal. He won his second one at the World Fair in 1855. Starting in the 1870s, he found inspiration in furniture imported from China and Japan. He created his own Japanese-style furniture in accordance with European needs. He won a silver medal at the World Fair in 1878. His furniture became extremely popular. His trademark was the use of bronze models, lacquered panels in relief shipped from Asia, and Tonkin mother-of-pearl inlays.  When he won a gold medal in Nice in 1884, he had a staff of about a hundred sculptors, cabinet makers and bronze makers. His son Gabriel-Léon-Jules ensured the continuity of the business by partnering with him in 1890 under the name Viardot and Co. Some of his most famous works include “Grand Cabinet Japonisant au chien de Fô”.