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Furnishing fabric - The Offering to Love
  • The Offering to Love
    Huet, Jean-Baptiste, born 1745 - died 1811
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The Offering to Love

  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Jouy-en-Josas (manufactured)

  • Date:

    about 1792-1815 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Huet, Jean-Baptiste, born 1745 - died 1811 (designed)
    Oberkampf, Christophe-Philippe, born 1738 - died 1815 (manufactured)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper plate printed cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Offering to Love is typical of many scenes printed on cotton textiles in the late 18th century. It 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 - and the most desired market for these expensive furnishings textiles. Oberkampf adopted the copper-plate printing process 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.

While Oberkampf employed in-house designers or pattern drawers who understood the technical complexities of the printing process, he also commissioned work from outsiders, especially for these grand scale copper plate prints. Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745-1811) was the artist who was particularly influential in providing images for this particular genre, in which rural industry and the countryside are represented playfully, and references to classical mythology are made through the architecture, the costume and the sculpture depicted.

Physical description

Copper plate printed cotton, brown (probably madder) on white ground, with idealised scenes of the countryside and family life and leisure, and a central image of a woman offering a lamb up to a classical sculpture of Cupid, Roman god of love.

Place of Origin

Jouy-en-Josas (manufactured)


about 1792-1815 (manufactured)


Huet, Jean-Baptiste, born 1745 - died 1811 (designed)
Oberkampf, Christophe-Philippe, born 1738 - died 1815 (manufactured)

Materials and Techniques

Copper plate printed cotton


Length: 102 cm Incomplete repeat, Width: 94 cm

Object history note

One of the pieces of printed cotton purchased from Madame Mayoux, a Parisian gallery owner and collector, in 1919.

Historical context note

The V&A collection of French printed cottons dating to 1760-1830 comprises more than 500 textile fragments. Over 300 pattern books contain 300,000 designs of French printed cottons from the 18th to 20th centuries. These collections were largely shaped by acquisitions from three sources: Dr Robert Forrer, a Swiss-born archaeologist and antiques dealer (V&A acquisition in 1899), Madame Mayoux, a Parisian gallery owner and collector (V&A acquisitions in 1919) and Sara Lee Courtaulds (donation of Courtaulds' archive of pattern books, including eight from Oberkampf's factory at Jouy, in 2000). Other examples have been acquired by textile curators.

Descriptive line

printed cotton,about 1792-1815, French; Plate printed, Oberkampf at Jouy-en-Josas, design by Jean-Baptiste Huet

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

Sarah Grant, Toiles de Jouy. French Printed Cottons, V&A Publishing, 2010, pp. 56-7, Catalogue 19.


Cotton (textile)



Subjects depicted

Statues; Musician; Sheep; Architecture; Shepherdesses; Shepherds; Children


Textiles; Interiors


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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