Sep 15, 2009

Color schemes in 19th C French textiles, part 4

As we've already seen, red-on-red resist patterns held their popularity throughout the 19th century. The French also favored floral, scenic and tropical prints on red backgrounds. Some old French paintings depict rooms decorated with red as the main color.

Below are several examples of 19th century French textiles with red backgrounds.
The first is a late-18th century Alsace resist pattern with a red background and combines indienne floral motifs with the popular meander pattern.
 Next is an early-19th century quilt fragment with rare chinoiserie motifs including porcelain pots, bamboo fronds, a book with chinese characters and chrysanthemum flowers all on a red background.
Here's a late-19th century floral with scenic cartouches enclosing pictures of various birds surrounded by large flowers and tied together with a scrolling lace motif.

The next three fabrics all have tropical motifs. The first and second use orchids and the first and third use birds. Exotic botanicals and jungle themes were very fashionable during the era of Napoleon III and beyond. Birds were a perennial favorite in all types of fabrics.