0086 Persuasion: Nicolas Pineau's Designs on the Social

  • Katie Scott (Author)
    Courtauld Institute of Art, London

    Katie Scott teaches art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is a specialist in eighteenth-century art and design.  She is the author of The Rococo Interior: decoration and social spaces in eighteenth-century Paris (London and New Haven, 1995) and editor with Deborah Cherry of Between Luxury and the Everyday: decorative arts in eighteenth-century France (Oxford, 2005).  She has published essays in Design History, Art History and Word and Image.

Identifiers (Article)


This essay offers a Latourian account of the wood sculptor Nicolas Pineau's design process via a reading of Jean-François Bastide's novella La petite maison. It argues that the conventional form assumed by his drawings or 'inscriptions' – the indications of scale, the delineation of options, the signatures and marginal notes – can be read as traces of seduction that helped 'translate' potential patrons to a taste for Rococo. The essay further suggests that the activation of the taste at the point of commission was kept alive in the designs executed by the bi-modal asymmetry that is characteristic of the goût pittoresque because its exercise was considered a mark of refinement.


actor-network, rococo, drawing, Jean-François Bastide, Bruno Latour, Nicolas Pineau