Arts and Culture
The collection of Adolphe Thiers entered the Louvre in 1881. It includes mostly European art and circa 280 Asian objects. These have never been studied since. One of the reasons is that the Louvre does not devote itself to Asian art, this task being that of the Musée Guimet. The Thiers objects stayed at the louvre far from Asian specialists because of the legal conditions of the gift.
The personality of Adolphe Thiers was another reason. He was a cunning politician but far from a lovable figure. He was the one that ordered the crushing of the Commune de Paris in the afterwards of the 1870 franco-prussian war. His Asian collection was supposed to contain cheap 19th century export objects reflecting the bad taste of the bad person he was.
The study of the collection reflects a completely different situation. The objects have been bought carefully in auctions in order to create small sets of items to illustrate different techniques of Chinese and Japanese art. Many of them can bee traced to 18th century or before through successive auction catalogues, especially Japanese lacquers. Many of the Chinese items are of imperial provenance, some being either extremely rare ofr instant a Yuan cloisonné or absolute masterpieces (a Qianlong famille rose porcelain bottle).
This paper will present the structure of the collection, it's history and the masterpieces it includes.