The Thuret family of clockmakers established themselves as one of the outstanding craftsman-dynasties in 17th- and 18th-century Paris. Their clocks are signed "Thuret", and distinguishing which member of the Thuret family made a specific clock is sometimes an unrewarding effort.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
Isaac II Thuret (1630–1706), one of the first French clockmakers to make pendulum clocks,held the royal appointment. His son Jacques III Thuret (1669–1738), was appointed clockmaker to Louis XIV of France in 1694. A perquisite of the royal appointment was the use of workshops in the Galeries du Louvre, where since the time of Henri IV, the outstanding artists, designers and craftsmen were granted workshop spaces, fostering cross-fertilisation among the arts. As one consequence there are numerous clocks by the Thuret dynasty in cases of rich tortoiseshell and brass marquetry designed by André Charles Boulle; one such remarkable clock by Jacques Thuret or his father is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another example, the Barometer Clock, is at the Frick Collection.
A pendulum clock is a clock that uses a pendulum, a swinging weight, as its timekeeping element. The advantage of a pendulum for timekeeping is that it is a harmonic oscillator: it swings back and forth in a precise time interval dependent on its length, and resists swinging at other rates. From its invention in 1656 by Christiaan Huygens until the 1930s, the pendulum clock was the world's most precise timekeeper, accounting for its widespread use. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries pendulum clocks in homes, factories, offices and railroad stations served as primary time standards for scheduling daily life, work shifts, and public transportation, and their greater accuracy allowed the faster pace of life which was necessary for the Industrial Revolution. The home pendulum clock was replaced by cheaper synchronous electric clocks in the 1930s and '40s, and they are now kept mostly for their decorative and antique value.
A clockmaker is an artisan who makes and/or repairs clocks. Since almost all clocks are now factory-made, most modern clockmakers only repair clocks. Modern clockmakers may be employed by jewellers, antique shops, and places devoted strictly to repairing clocks and watches. Clockmakers must be able to read blueprints and instructions for numerous types of clocks and time pieces that vary from antique clocks to modern time pieces in order to fix and make clocks or watches. The trade requires fine motor coordination as clockmakers must frequently work on devices with small gears and fine machinery.
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.
Jacques III Thuret married a daughter of the royal designer Jean Bérain the Elder, whose designs he assembled and published ; his daughter Suzanne married the painter, draughtsman and engraver Charles François Silvestre.
Jean Berain the Elder was a draughtsman and designer, painter and engraver of ornament, the artistic force in the Royal office of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi where all the designs originated for court spectacle, from fêtes to funerals, and many designs for furnishings not covered by the Bâtiments du Roi. The "Berainesque" style of light arabesques and playful grotesques was an essential element in the style Régence that led to the French rocaille and European rococo.
François Boucher was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher, who worked in the Rococo style. Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories, and pastoral scenes. He was perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century.
Jean-François Oeben, or Johann Franz Oeben was a French ébéniste (cabinetmaker) whose career was spent in Paris. He was the maternal grandfather of the painter Eugène Delacroix.
A lantern clock is a type of antique weight-driven wall clock, shaped like a lantern. They were the first type of clock widely used in private homes. They probably originated before 1500 but only became common after 1600; in Britain around 1620. They became obsolete in the 19th century.
Events from the year 1792 in art.
Events from the year 1772 in art.
Thomas Tompion (1639–1713) was an English clockmaker, watchmaker and mechanician who is still regarded to this day as the Father of English Clockmaking. Tompion's work includes some of the most historic and important clocks and watches in the world and can command very high prices whenever outstanding examples appear at auction. A plaque commemorates the house he shared on Fleet Street with his equally famous pupil and successor George Graham.
Events from the year 1761 in art.
Events from the year 1738 in art.
Events from the year 1760 in art.
Events from the year 1715 in art.
Events from the year 1686 in art.
Louis de Silvestre was a French portrait and history painter. He was court painter to King Augustus II of Poland, and director of the Royal Academy of Arts in Dresden.
Hubert-François Bourguignon, commonly known as Gravelot, was a French engraver, a famous book illustrator, designer and drawing-master. Born in Paris, he emigrated to London in 1732, where he quickly became a central figure in the introduction of the Rococo style in British design, which was disseminated from London in this period, through the media of book illustrations and engraved designs as well as by the examples of luxury goods in the "French taste" brought down from London to provincial towns and country houses.
Daniel Quare was an English clockmaker and instrument maker who Invented a repeating watch movement in 1680 and a portable barometer in 1695.
Gabriel Huquier (1695–1772) was an entrepreneurial French draughtsman, engraver, printmaker, publisher, and art collector, who became a pivotal figure in the production of French 18th-century ornamental etchings and engravings
Jean-André Lepaute, together with his younger brother Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, was a founder of an outstanding French clockmaker dynasty of their day, holding the brevet horlogers du Roi. His brother assumed his workshop in 1774, when Jean-André retired; he died after a long illness at Paris.
Zeger Jacob van Helmont, was a Flemish painter and tapestry designer who specialized in portraits and history paintings. He trained with his father in Antwerp but spent his active career in Brussels where he worked for the local churches and tapestry works.
Barometer Clock (Boulle) by André-Charles Boulle is a late seventeenth-century French clock created out of ebony, turtle shell, brass, gilt bronze, and enamel. The clock case is decorated on all sides and was intended as either a centerpiece or for display on a mantel in front of a mirror. The centerpiece of the clock is a relief of "Father Time Carrying Off Truth."
Isaac Rousseau was a Genevan master-clockmaker.