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Robin White

Interiors

Paisley

Music Room/Small Gallery painting-Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

This is a painting depicting the smaller of the galleries Joséphine used for her painting collections. This room apparently had the newer paintings, many by the troubadours she sponsored. It was also used as her music room. The room design was inspired by several periods.  It serves as the as an example of her taste and style. This painting is the only pictorial documentation we have of her interiors. Note the paisley throw on the chair.

Music room painting

Gown and Fabric Design #2: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we see another of Joséphine’s wonderful gowns. This gown has beautiful floral custom designed pattern with needlework on a sheer fabric overlaying a solid. As the previous posts, the fabric reflects her love of flowers. This time her colors are more pastel. This gown is definitely more feminine. Plenty of inspiration here. Window treatments? Gorgeous! Note the piece in the background showing more of her paisley design.

Josephine's Gown     

 Josephine's Gown

Josephine's Gown (paisley)

Gown and Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Extremely elegant and sympathetic to those around her, as Empress, Joséphine was constantly on display. Per the exhibition:

“She was the best dressed women in the Empire and acted as an ambassador for French distinction.”

Joséphine made the court the most luxurious in Europe. Her clothing, copied by the textile industry for all the European courts. We see here one of her gowns and a close-up of the beautiful fabric design.

Gown and Fabric Design:  Joséphine's gown

Joséphine’s gown

Gown and Fabric Design:  Joséphine's gown

Joséphine’s gown

Gown and Fabric Design:  Joséphine's gown up close

Joséphine’s gown up close

More Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we see another of the paintings featuring Joséphine’s wonderful gowns with a paisley influence in her custom designed pattern. As in the previous post, the fabric reflects her love of flowers. This time her colors are more intense. Note her tiny slipper in juxtaposition to all the surrounding heaviness. Trés demure.

Joséphine’s wonderful gowns with a paisley influence

Joséphine’s gown with a paisley influence

Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we have a portrait of Joséphine in one of her gowns featuring her fabric designs or of those in her hire. The pattern reflects her love of florals but used in a unique pattern which closely resembles what we know as paisley today. The French words for paisley are boteh and palme. The origins of paisley are from India and Pakistan. For reference, Joséphine was crowned Empress in the 1804. Per Wikipedia:

Local manufacturers in Marseilles began to mass-produce the patterns via early textile printing processes at 1640. England, circa 1670, and Holland, in 1678, soon followed. This, in turn, provided Europe’s weavers with more competition than they could bear, and the production and import of printed paisley was forbidden in France by royal decree from 1686 to 1759. However, enforcement near the end of that period was lax, and France had its own printed textile manufacturing industry in place as early at 1746 in some locales. Paisley was not the only design produced by French textile printers; the demand for paisley which created the industry there also made possible production of native patterns such as toile de Jouy.

The fabrics for the Empress were, of course, custom designs.

Joséphine

Joséphine

Joséphine with Paisley

Joséphine with Paisley