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Banyan - Le Départ de la Garnison: Les Français en Garnison
  • Le Départ de la Garnison: Les Français en Garnison
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Le Départ de la Garnison: Les Français en Garnison

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Nantes (printed)
    France (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1821 (designed)
    c. 1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jamet (engraver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper-plate printed cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the early nineteenth century, the essential garments in a man's wardrobe were increasingly composed of practical and plain woollen textiles, and flamboyant textiles were rarely used except for waistcoats. Banyans, or dressing gowns, however, worn only in private, were still made from decorative textiles.

This banyan is a rare example of a printed Toile de Nantes, intended to be furnishing fabric, but here made up as a very masculine garment, cut to conform to the height of male fashion. The toile - called ‘toile a personnages’ - presents five different scenes: a soldier surprising and embracing a girl; Les Français en Garnison, the French army having fun in a bucolic setting; Le Depart de la Garnison, the moment right before the departure of the army; a small scene with some soldiers on their horses; a soldier saying goodbye to a crying girl. Les Français en Garnison is signed by Jamet sculpt. Very little is known of him: only that there are five toiles of his design known to have survived.

While Jouy, in northern France, became most well known for producing plate-printed cottons, Nantes (in the west) was also an important centre for textile printing in France.

Physical description

Double or robe de chambre made from printed cotton, c.1830.

Double breasted banyan made with high stand collar, generously gathered sleeve heads, and deep flapped hip pockets. Fastening with five buttons on each side, the pocket bags fastening under the flaps with a single bone button. The hems and front edges of the coat, the collar, and the pocket flaps all finished with self fabric piping. At the back waist seam, there are three covered buttons at the base of each back seam. The skirts have a box pleat at the centre back, and gathers to each side, with a decorative pocket flap and button at each side on the skirts. A channel at the base of the back lining has a tape drawstring to close the banyan around the body.

Made of copper-plate printed cotton, in dark red, with a military design identified as Le Départ de la Garnison: Les Français en Garnison, printed with the signature 'Jamet Sculp'. Upper body lining and pocket bags of plainweave cotton.

The cut and the making of the banyan suggest the textile has had a life before being used to make the garment. Its unusual length confirms this: it reminds more the length of a redingote than that of a dressing gown, which would usually hit the floor. This, together with the use of a different fabric for the undercollar, suggests that the supply of the textile was rather short.

Place of Origin

Nantes (printed)
France (made)


c. 1821 (designed)
c. 1830 (made)


Jamet (engraver)

Materials and Techniques

Copper-plate printed cotton

Marks and inscriptions

'Jamet Sculp'
Printed signature at base of plate design


Length: 124 cm

Descriptive line

Banyan, or dressing gown, man's, printed cotton (Toile de Nantes), c.1830

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Adhemar, Jean, and Letheve, Jacques, Inventaire du Fonds Francais après 1800, tome onzieme, (Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale de France, 1960)

Traite encyclopédique de l’art du tailleur: erne de 150 figures, suivi d’un appendice de la Méthode Barde (Paris : F. A. Barde, 1834)

Bibliographie de France. Journal General de la imprimerie e de la librairie, 4th August 1821 (Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale de France, 1821)

Arizzoli-Clementel, Pierre, De Bruignac, Veronique and Jacque, Jacline, Toiles de Nantes des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles : 9 décembre 1977-29 janvier 1978, Musée de l'impression sur étoffes de Mulhouse, exhibition catalogue (Mulhouse: Musée de l'impression sur étoffes, 1977)

Dore, Mylene, Quand Les Toiles Racontent Des Histoires (Departement de Seine-Maritime: editions des Falaises, 2007)

Chassagne, Serge, Le Coton Et Ses Patrons. France, 1760-1840 (Paris: Editions de l’EHESS 1991)
Clouzot, Henri, ‘Le Toile Peintes Nantaises’, Gazette des Beaux –Arts, January-March 1916, pp. 93-102
Clouzot, Henri, ‘Les Toiles imprimees de Nantes’, la Reinassance de l’Art Français, November 1924
Grant, Sarah, and Smith, Christine, Toiles De Jouy (London: V&A Publishing, 2010)
Franceschini, Marta, Le Départ de la Garnison: Les Français en Garnison, Banyan in Toile de Nantes, Victoria & Albert Museum Collection, T.377-2009, RCA/V&A History of Design programme, Essay 1, 11 January 2016
Montigny, Louis, Les Français en Cantonnement ou la Barbe Postiche (Editeur des Oeuvres de Pigault-Lebrun, Paris: 1821)

Production Note

Concerning the authorship of the print and, above all the signature ‘Jamet sculpt’ on the Inventaire du Fonds Francais après 1800 the only Jamet credited is an engraver from Dinan, but there is no evidence that he could be the same person who signed the toile. As for the other titled scene, on the magazine ‘Le Miroir de Spectacles des lettres des moeurs et des artes’ dated 13th August 1821, both the titles appear as titles of plates the reporter of the magazine has seen in the window of Martinet, a shop of engravings in Rue du Coq in Paris.

The five scenes printed on the textile reminds of a storyline of a play. Interestingly, a vaudeville, a comic play titled ‘Les Francais en Cantonnement ou la Barbe Postiche’ by Louis Montigny, first represented at the Theatre de la Porte Saint Martin in Paris on 23rd October 1821, overtly recognises two plates, whose titles are indeed Les Français en Garnison and Le Depart de la Garnison, as its sources of inspiration.


Toile; Cotton


Copper plate printing; Weaving; Hand sewing


Men's clothes; Informal wear; Textiles; Prints; War; Uniform; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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