Nov 8, 2015

French 19th C textiles in shades of very dark green

Winter and summer in homes of the 19th century French bourgeoisie usually called for different textiles to be used in the decor - pale in the summer with darker and heavier weight fabrics used in the winter.

This piece, from the Napoleon III era, has a very dark greeny-black background with red and rose flowers as the foreground motif.

In this 19th century heavy-weight cotton, the background is again very dark, but this time a dark, dark olive green.  The foreground motif of roses climbing a trellis is done in an olive-khaki shade. The roses are rendered in a cherry red.

This Art Nouveau piece looks more like a spring fabric with the pale clematis and lilies of the valley.  The dark forest green background provides a contrast to the pale floral foreground.  This design would have been a fabric that could have easily been used year round, which became the more popular way to decorate a French home by the dawn of the 20th century.

Mar 18, 2015

Shades of green for spring in French homes of the 18th and 19th centuries

During the 18th and 19th centuries, rooms in the grand homes and those of the bourgeoisie were often decorated according to the season. Winter furnishings were in darker colors and sometimes in heavier fabrics. There were often more drapes and portières to hang in doorways and hallways to shut out the cold and the drapes for windows were often lined. Quilts and coverlets were part of the bedroom ensemble. Some quilts had two "faces" - one darker for winter and one lighter for summer. During the spring, the entire decor of a home was changed to lighter, paler and airier fabrics and motifs. For springtime fabrics, pistachio, spring green and pale greens were popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This is a piece of woven silk created for a chair seat, done in bright spring green, mid-19th century. Note the use of symbols - the shell (symbol of the sacred path, but also used as a welcome sign for pilgrims in Medieval times) and the acanthus leaf (symbol of enduring life.)

Reddish-orange poppies and white grasses are the motif in this Art Nouveau fabric with a pale leaf-green background.

This 19th century French printed cotton features scattered flowers and leaves. The pale muted green background is a lovely canvas for the brightly-colored flowers. 

This pretty 1920s fabric, with a pale yellow-green background, was inspired by 18th century patterns.