An Architect's Table
Thomas-Germain-Joseph Duvivier (French, 1735-1814)
On View

Thomas-Germain-Joseph Duvivier, one of Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin’s most talented pupils, began exhibiting still lifes at the Paris Salon in 1761. In this example, an architect’s desk is cluttered with the tools of the trade. Despite the items’ seemingly haphazard arrangement, Duvivier has carefully staged them to maximize their visual interest. The stasis of the heavy Ionic capital and stack of books contrasts with the delicate quill and unfurling plans. In addition, Duvivier has intentionally angled the capital, compass, ruler and quill toward the back left corner. Their leading lines guide our eyes toward the drawing of the doorway, suggesting the source of inspiration for the neoclassical building plans.


  • Artist Name: Thomas-Germain-Joseph Duvivier (French, 1735-1814)
  • Title: An Architect's Table
  • Date: 1772
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 40-3/8 x 31 in. (102.6 x 78.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1976.02.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Private Collection, New York (sale, New York, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 22-23 January 1976, no. 27, bought by);
[Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York, sold 28 January 1976 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1976-04-22 to

Reinstallation of Galleries: Art History of the 17th and 18th Century Gains Fresh Dimension

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-09-02 to 1995-08-13

Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2012-07-20 to 2013-01-21
  • Faré, Michel, La Vie Silencieuse en France: La Nature Morte au XVIIe siècle, 1976, fig. 268 pp. 175-180
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 95
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1297 p. 391
  • du Bourg, Alexis Merle, Chardin, 2020, 306 p. 335 (ill.)
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