Design for a Valance with Bundles and Garlands of Flowers and Leaves

Designer Anonymous, French, 19th century French

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Rectangular sheet of paper with a design for a valance from the second half of the nineteenth century, inspired on the style of Louis XVI, inspired on the style of Louis XVI, forming part of the Neo-Classical Revival that took place in France and Britain from the 1850s on. The style was part of the Classical and Renaissance Revival that took place from about 1850, where the interest on the art and architecture from Ancient Rome and the 15th and 16th centuries was propelled by archaeological discoveries in Greece, Italy and Egypt. Through this style, Classical and Renaissance pieces of art and design were reinterpreted in a variety of forms and motifs, and classical figures, scrolling decorations, strapwork, and grotesques and moresques, became central element in design. This Revival was characterized by the use of design motifs that alluded to Classical Antiquity, including vases and trophies with pastoral attributes, classical figures and cameos, a mixture of real and fantastic figures, and swags and festoons. These swags and festoons comprised garlands of fabric and ribbon, as well as thin bundles and garlands of flowers and husks colored with pastels. The scale of this design is clearly not true to life and it is not unlikely that this drawing was made for a sample book of an upholsterer, to be shown to the customer as one of many different styles to choose from.
The valance design consists of bunches of flowers and leaves and scrolling garlands over a lilac ground within an ornamental frame of gold color. The design contains three bunches of flowers and leaves: the largest one on the top, and two smaller ones on the sides, as well as garlands of leaves scrolling through the frame. The flowers are colored with shades of pink and purple, and the leaves are colored with various tones of green. The frame is decorated with stylized leaves of shades of pink and purple, and lies above a magenta ground.

Design for a Valance with Bundles and Garlands of Flowers and Leaves, Anonymous, French, 19th century, Watercolor

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