A Savonnerie rug acquired by Versailles


Manufacture de la Savonnerie, c. 1740-1750
(after a cartoon by Pierre-Josse Perrot)
Rug
567 x 603 cm
Versailles, Musée national du Château
Photo : Sotheby’s

3/11/08 – Acquisition – Versailles, Musée national du Château – While Versailles is on the point of acquiring, through patronage, a Savonnerie rug commissioned by Louis XV for the chapel in the Chateau (see news item of 17/8/08 and the interview with Jean-Jacques Aillagon where he explains that the acquisition will be finalized shortly), another rug from the same factory was preempted by the museum on 22 October at Sotheby’s Paris for 2,528,750 euros (including charges).

The fleurs de lys show that this was no doubt a royal commission. The cartoon was by Pierre-Josse Perrot, a painter with ties to the Manufacture des Gobelins from 1725 to 1750 who specialized in this type of rocaille décor overflowing with varied motifs (crown, palm leaves, horns of plenty, quivers, shells, flower garlands, etc.). Three rugs corresponding to the same model are quoted in the Journal du Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (the Crown’s Royal Storage House). The first was delivered in 1735 for the dining room in the chateau de la Muette, the second produced five years later went to the dining room in the chateau de Choisy and the third, dating from 1761, was sent to the chapel in the chateau de Fontainebleau (it is still preserved there). Four other, almost identical replicas are still known today : one in the chateau of Chambord, another one at the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris, a third at the Cleveland Museum of Art and, finally a fourth which was in the Karl Lagerfeld collection but sold at Christie’s Monaco on 28 April 2000.

The rug acquired by Versailles is in an exceptional state of conservation, the colors still incredibly fresh. According to the press release, it will be displayed in the Louis XV apartments.

Version française


Didier Rykner, lundi 3 novembre 2008



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