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The Pastoral

Furnishing Fabric
about 1780 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This printed scene of idealised rural pursuits, musicians playing bagpipes and simple wind instruments, and a shepherdess-like girl collecting flowers in her apron, all in a rustic setting, is typical of the pastoral scenes printed on cotton textiles in the late 18th century. The cotton was printed at the factory established in 1760 by Christopher-Philippe Oberkampf (1738-1815) at Jouy-en-Josas, a village propitiously situated between Paris and Versailles, the main residences of the French court.

For the first ten years, Oberkampf block-printed his textiles. He only adopted the copper-plate printing process, used for this fabric, in 1770. By thirteen years later, his firm was so highly regarded that Louis XV named it a Royal Manufacture. Its reputation lasted well beyond its closure in 1843, monochrome printed textiles of this type often being called toiles de Jouy (literally 'cloth from Jouy') even now - despite the fact that many of the textiles produced in this way come from other centres of production (such as Nantes), and despite the fact that now they are often screen-printed on textiles other than cotton. The large pictorial repeats on such fabrics suited them for use as furnishing fabrics, although some simpler floral patterns were used for dress.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Copper-plate printed cotton, the dye probably madder
Brief Description
printed cotton, about 1780, French; Plate printed for Oberkampf at Jouy-en-Josas; The Pastoral
Physical Description
Copper-plate printed cotton with scenes of idealised shepherdesses and musicians in an idealised rural or pastoral setting.
Dimensions
  • Length: 101.6cm
  • Width: 95.5cm
  • Repeat pattern length: 100cm
Style
Object history
This cotton was purchased from the collection of Madame Mayoux, a Parisian gallery owner and collector, in 1919.
Historical context
The grey pen and ink wash drawing on paper for this cotton is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceThe Pastoral
Summary
This printed scene of idealised rural pursuits, musicians playing bagpipes and simple wind instruments, and a shepherdess-like girl collecting flowers in her apron, all in a rustic setting, is typical of the pastoral scenes printed on cotton textiles in the late 18th century. The cotton was printed at the factory established in 1760 by Christopher-Philippe Oberkampf (1738-1815) at Jouy-en-Josas, a village propitiously situated between Paris and Versailles, the main residences of the French court.



For the first ten years, Oberkampf block-printed his textiles. He only adopted the copper-plate printing process, used for this fabric, in 1770. By thirteen years later, his firm was so highly regarded that Louis XV named it a Royal Manufacture. Its reputation lasted well beyond its closure in 1843, monochrome printed textiles of this type often being called toiles de Jouy (literally 'cloth from Jouy') even now - despite the fact that many of the textiles produced in this way come from other centres of production (such as Nantes), and despite the fact that now they are often screen-printed on textiles other than cotton. The large pictorial repeats on such fabrics suited them for use as furnishing fabrics, although some simpler floral patterns were used for dress.
Bibliographic Reference
Sarah Grant, Toiles de Jouy. French Printed Cottons, V&A Publishing, 2010, p. 23, Fig. 17.
Collection
Accession Number
T.413-1919

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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