Cover of Ouvre, Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier, 1734. Engraving on paper.
Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750) was instrumental in taking the rococo to its zenith and spreading its design principles, especially in the field of metalwork. His Ouvre, published in 1734, was widely disseminated and was instrumental in spreading the rococo throughout Europe. His influence can especially be seen in the twisting stems of the swan candelabrum. Metal was the ideal medium through which to interpret his style: the fluid movement was much more difficult to accomplish in wood, though it was accomplished in Meissonnier’s furniture designs. The scrolling leaves that resemble roiling waves along the base and stems of the candelabrum are typical of Meissonnier’s style, as are the ridges that wind around the twisting stems, adding an even greater sense of movement.