Feb 12, 2010

French antique scenic fabrics

A popular motif in French textile design, especially during the 19th century, has been a scenic vignette - a snapshot of an aspect of life - framed with foliage and flowers. The people portrayed in these small stories varied widely and could include characters from the ancienne regime or farmers or even children. Romantic and celebratory themes were popular.
We'll start with the most unusual, which are pieces that depicted children. The first piece below, from late 19th century, shows children and animals at play. The second shows children, preteens really, at work.

 Tranquil country folks with their animals, usually from a bygone era, was a recurring theme and was often mixed with romantic idealism. The first two pictures below are from a 19th century quilt and depict a young lady tending her sheep. The next two are 19th century fabrics with a decidedly romatic theme. In the first, a young man plays flute for his young lady who is caressing a lamb and next, a young man leaves roses for a young lady asleep in the garden.

The last two are 19th century fabrics depicting a romanticized interpretation of country life during the ancienne regime, the years prior to the French Revolution. 

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