Fleurs Tropicales et Palmiers (Tropical Flowers and Palm Trees)

Manufactory: Oberkampf Manufactory (French, active 1760–1843)

Date: 1787

Culture: French, Jouy-en-Josas

Medium: Cotton, block printed

Dimensions: Overall: 108 x 35 1/2 in. (274.3 x 90.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Printed

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1937

Accession Number: 37.170


The Oberkampf manufactory at Jouy-en-Josas, located just two and a half miles from the palace of Versailles, became one of the most successful textile-printing enterprises in eighteenth-century Europe. Determined to make the finest printed cottons possible, the owner, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf (1738–1815), closely studied the tools and techniques of his Indian and English competitors. This pattern, based on exotic palampore floral designs, was likely printed on Indian yardage because French weavers could not consistently produce high-quality all-cotton fabric. Oberkampf’s prints were apparently such convincing imitations of Indian chintz that one of his illustrious clients boasted that fellow courtiers could not tell whether the textile was made in India or France.

[Melinda Watt, 2013]