Length of furnishing fabric: Les quatre parties du monde - ROM2011_11769_1


Length of furnishing fabric: Les quatre parties du monde

Medium:Silk lampas
Geography: Lyon, France
Date: c. 1785
Period: Neoclassical
269.3 x 54.5 cm
Object number: 2009.125.8
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust.
Not on view

Commissioned for Marie-Antoinette’s boudoir in the château at Rambouillet, this Neoclassical silk is figured with allegorical representations of the four corners of the earth: Asia is depicted as a turbaned figure on camelback, Europe as a greco-roman goddess (Minerva, goddess of wisdom) seated on trophies of war, Africa as a dark-skinned native slaying a lion and America as a native in a feathered headdress. Representations of the four continents are framed by classical putti holding a basket brimming with roses and acanthus scrolls festooned with strands of pearls and butterflies, reinforcing the message of peace and prosperity..Neoclassical features include the formality and symmetry of the composition, the severity and simplicity of colouration, and the imitation of greco-roman forms and motifs. 

Characteristic of the late 18th century, the pattern repeat is very long. A simplified form of shading is created with only two colours in the weft and a single colour in the warp. Highlights are done in ivory wefts, light shadow in pinkish-beige, and dark shadow with cross-hatching in green warp.

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