Monday, 8 June 2009

Two unusual French Toiles

I collected a large batch of late beautiful 18th century and early 19th century toiles this weekend, here are two fine examples of the latter.
(Please click on each photo for supersize pictures)

The first piece is an beautiful example of a documented Toile de Jouy, but it has a different name in 2 of my books, firstly, it is called L'Oiseleur or The Bird Catcher dated 1811 in the book 'Toile de Jouy, Printed French Textiles in the Classic French Style' by Riffel, Rouart & Walter, but in 'Antique French Textiles for Designers' by June K Laval, it is called L'Abreuvoir or The Watering Place, and dated 1810. Interesting! A very fine textile, designed by Jouy's most celebrated artist, Jean-Baptiste Huet. I adore the expressions on the faces of the animals.

Now to the second piece, I have never seen this design or colour before, I was told it was The Labours of Hercules, but I am not so sure, there are only 2 vingettes, but 12 Labours. Of course, there may be more toile with the remaining labours printed on it that I haven't seen, but these 2 scenes don't seem to fit the descriptions of The Labours. It looks like a Toile de Nantes at first glance because of the layout of the design, but it is by an artist whose work I haven't seen before, the pictures are quite large, and beautifully designed, very classical, yet I don't think it is a Toile de Jouy, whose classical Toiles are very distinctive, as in the first example. I will have to do some research. Finally, the initials FP on the rock may be the artists or engraver's initials, so a clue to follow up!

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