Designed by Louis–Hippolyte Lebas (French, 17821867); Manufactured by Oberkampf
Cotton; 90 x 99 in. (228.6 x 251.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1926 (26.238.9a–f)
The title of this piece, which translates as "The Merchant of Love" or "The Cupid Seller," is based on the scene in one of the octagonal cartouches showing a woman selling winged cupids from a cage. In 1816, Lebas was asked by Émile Oberkampf, son of the factory founder Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, to produce several patterns for the firm. The Museum has two pieces resulting from that commission: "La Marchande d'Amours" and a pattern showing various historic sites in Paris. This exemplified a type of Neoclassical scenic textile popular during the first two decades of the nineteenth century in which a variety of motifs following a theme were isolated in decorative frames against a geometric patterned background. In contrast to eighteenth-century narrative designs, in which motifs float like islands on a white ground, these early nineteenth-century cottons form an overall decorative pattern unified by the geometric background.