Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The latest addition to my toile collection

Well, I am really pleased, I managed to find a toile design on ebay last week that I have been wishing to own for quite a while! It is a small but superb French quilted bed pelmet in Toile d'Alsace in the design Episodes in the life of Napoleon I. There isn't a complete pattern repeat, but I am not complaining, I love the piece, it is even more beautiful than the pictures in a reference book that I have been drooling over for a few years. It dates to about 1840, and was printed after Napoleon's death. I really like the picture of Napoleon inspecting the artillery, apparently, according to a historian friend of mine, he was especially partial to artillery. The designer has managed to capture the flame on the lighting taper and a distant explosion simply by leaving certain areas of the toile white. I also like the way the horse gazes out at the viewer, a common device to engage the viewer more intimately with the picture. A beautiful panel. Hurrah!

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