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The Pleasures of the Countryside

Furnishing Fabric
about 1800 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Pleasures of the Countryside 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, devoid of the harsh realities of working the land.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Copper plate printed cotton
Brief Description
printed cotton, about 1800, French; Plate printed, Jouy-en-Josas, manufactured by Oberkampf, designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet; The Pleasures of the Countryside
Physical Description
Copper plate printed cotton, red (probably madder) on white ground, with scenes that relate to the theme of the pleasures of the countryside.
Dimensions
  • Length: 62.2cm
  • Width: 94.6cm
  • Repeat length: 52cm
Style
Object history
One of the pieces of printed cotton purchased from Madame Mayoux, a Parisian gallery owner and collector, in 1919.
Historical context
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.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The Pleasures of the Countryside 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, devoid of the harsh realities of working the land.
Bibliographic Reference
Sarah Grant, Toiles de Jouy. French Printed Cottons, V&A Publishing, 2010, p. 58, Catalogue 21.
Collection
Accession Number
T.449-1919

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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