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Not currently on display at the V&A

Variations

Furnishing Fabric
ca. 1931 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Robert Bonfils (1886-1972) designed this silk furnishing fabric called ‘Variations’ for Bianchini-Férier about 1931. From the late 1920s designs were increasingly abstract and muted in colour. Bonfils was also a graphic artist. Here he draws on a type of imagery that took new technology as a starting point for the depiction of machine parts and accelerated movement.

The silk manufacturers Bianchini-Férier were known for their innovative and lively fabrics. The Lyon silk industry, which had flourished since the 1500s, was a major producer of luxury goods for a worldwide market. This was an era when the French government actively promoted this sector, since they sought to establish French design as the foremost in Europe.

In 1909 Charles Bianchini, one of the partners in the firm, had visited Vienna, a leading city for textile design. He subsequently established an office in Paris. This enabled him to cultivate good relations with the top Parisian couturiers, such as Lanvin, Patou and Poiret, who all bought dress fabrics from him. He also employed chic illustrators such as Paul Iribe (1883-1935), Charles Martin (1848-1934) and Georges Barbier (1882-1932) to design textiles for the firm.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleVariations (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Silk
Brief description
Silk, French, 1931 ca. 1931
Physical description
Abstract design of half circles, spirals, zigzag and stripes in blue and white. Reminiscent of the futurist style of painting. CIRC.165-1932 is the same design.
Dimensions
  • Length: 119cm
  • Width: 96.5cm
Style
Marks and inscriptions
Summary
Robert Bonfils (1886-1972) designed this silk furnishing fabric called ‘Variations’ for Bianchini-Férier about 1931. From the late 1920s designs were increasingly abstract and muted in colour. Bonfils was also a graphic artist. Here he draws on a type of imagery that took new technology as a starting point for the depiction of machine parts and accelerated movement.

The silk manufacturers Bianchini-Férier were known for their innovative and lively fabrics. The Lyon silk industry, which had flourished since the 1500s, was a major producer of luxury goods for a worldwide market. This was an era when the French government actively promoted this sector, since they sought to establish French design as the foremost in Europe.

In 1909 Charles Bianchini, one of the partners in the firm, had visited Vienna, a leading city for textile design. He subsequently established an office in Paris. This enabled him to cultivate good relations with the top Parisian couturiers, such as Lanvin, Patou and Poiret, who all bought dress fabrics from him. He also employed chic illustrators such as Paul Iribe (1883-1935), Charles Martin (1848-1934) and Georges Barbier (1882-1932) to design textiles for the firm.
Bibliographic reference
Samuels, Charlotte. Art Deco Textiles. London : V&A Publications, 2003. Plate 46.
Collection
Accession number
T.6-1932

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Record createdAugust 15, 2002
Record URL
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