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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Musee de la Toile de Jouy: Top of My List

When I visit a museum, my goal is to explore and piece together random parts of life.  I'm driven to understand how or why an artwork or creation happened - and I thrive when learning and making mental connections.  So Musee de la Toile de Jouy is currently Number One on my list, because it is a museum that makes sense in its place and in its presentation of the history and significance of the product it represents.

During the latter part of the 18th century there occurred a trend  - people of affluence developed an affinity for rustic simplicity.  The Queen's Hamlet of Versailles exhibits this preference for nature and for the charming structures of Norman or Flemish design.  Likewise, many of the fabrics produced in Jouy-en-Josas at this time show a love of the countryside, depicting: orchards, ponds, mills, farm animals, meadows, birds, streams, cascades, flowers, and quaint figures in romantic poses, playing instruments, or tending to chores.

The toile de jouy cloth produced in Jouy-en-Josas by Oberkampf in the 18th century is a wonderful example of art reflecting its environment and of how art reflects popular culture.  To be able to observe the actual landscape which influenced so many of the toile de jouy scenes, and to learn the methods in which the cloth was printed is an illuminating experience.

To visit Musee de la Toile de Jouy is to witness living proof of a historical moment in the birth of a very long-lasting trend.

If this piques your curiosity, visit the Toile La La blog.  And here is a toile de jouy post I wrote several years ago - before the Musee de la Toile de Jouy visit.