Charles Louis Méreaud
Charles Louis Méreaud (ca. 1735–80; active 1756–80), a painter and gilder, was sometimes called Méreaud jeune (the younger) to distinguish him from his elder brother Pierre-Antoine. Scholars identify his mark as a comma (as pictured in Eriksen and De Bellaigue 1987, 154 no. 164), although there has been some controversy as to whether it is an open numeral "9" instead. Méreaud was known for his flowers, garlands, ornaments, and friezes, and has been particularly associated with styles known as frise riche (rich frieze) and frise colorée (colored frieze). Le Corbeiller notes that objects bearing his mark “are notable for the combined clarity and complexity of their decoration and their richness of palette” as well as a “great vibrancy of drawing and color” (1986, 181).
Three of his creations are in the Fritzsche Collection. In the “Diamond-Shaped Breakfast Service” (déjeuner losange, 1763, slide 36), each object of the service is adorned with a frieze of rocaille shells and palm shapes, alternating with red flower medallions, and joined by slender floral swags, all implemented in richly colored blues, reds, pinks, and greens. The name “losange” refers to the “lozenge” or diamond shape of the tray.
A similar example of Méreaud’s style is the “Bouillard Cup and Saucer” (gobelet Bouillard et soucoupe, 1760, slide 31). Both cup and saucer are adorned with a multi-colored (purple, red, pink, gold) frieze of rocaille shells, palm shapes, and flower heads, which is highlighted by undulating flower garlands. Read more about Bouillard cups on this page of the Exhibit.
Rosalind Savill also associates Méreaud with the unusual decoration known as décor à coquille (shell décor) or à coquilles à ornement (with shell décor and ornaments), and suggests that he “may be responsible for all examples” of this décor. She identifies the “Bouillard Cup and Saucer with Shell Décor (gobelet Bouillard et soucoupe décor à coquille, n.d., slide 38) as his work (1988, 2:537).
Méreaud married Marguérite-Didière Degritot and they had 5 children.
References: Savill 1988, 2:537, 2:543n38, 3:1047–48; Eriksen and De Bellaigue 1987, 154 no. 164, 170n164; Le Corbeiller 1986, 179–82; Arend 1998, 73; Roth and Le Corbeiller 2000, 382.