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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Nathaniel Willson


ca. 1795-1800

Jean-Baptiste Sené

French, 1748 - 1803

The lions’ heads that decorate these chairs exemplify the fine carving skills for which Jean-Baptiste Sené’s workshop was known. Each lion bears a proud, individually distinct expression. Although the animal heads, paw feet, and vertical reed-like decoration echo Louis XVI Etruscan style, these chairs were made during the Directoire (1795-99), after the revolution ousted the monarchy. Sené, an important cabinetmaker in the court of Louis XVI, survived the revolution by adopting the restrained style of the new French Republic. Simple forms and natural, ungilded wood reflect its austere spirit and rejection of imperial excesses.

Mahogany, modern upholstery
The Plestcheeff Collection
Photo: Nathaniel Willson
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "The Plestcheeff Collection", May 8, 1998 - December 3, 1999

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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