The Pheasants from the “Verdures of the Vatican” Series
Designed by Jean Démosthène Dugourc (French, 1749–1825) Manufactured by Camille Pernon & Cie France, Lyon
About this artwork
Perhaps the last great name connected with the French silk industry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is that of Jean-Démosthène Dugourc. A designer of costumes and stage decorations for the French opera, he was also the superintendent of buildings and designer of Garde-Meuble for the Duc d’Orléans. Dugourc was the most outstanding interior decorator of his time, and from 1774 to 1790 he produced designs for the silk manufacturer Camille Pernon of Lyon. Educated in Italy for a time, Dugourc was familiar with the classical antique motifs that Raphael had revived in his fresco decorations for the Vatican Loggie, part of the papal palace in Rome. In fact, the French designer titled a group of textile patterns Verdures of the Vatican. The Pheasants, which was designed for the Spanish royal palace in Madrid, is part of this series. The elaborate composition encompasses a lavish, symmetrical interplay of birds, baskets, strings of pearls, garlands, and ribbons—all realized with the excellence of workmanship that made French silks so desirable.
Silk, satin weave with plain interlacings of secondary binding warps and brocading wefts; embroidered with silk in chain (tambour work) and satin stitches
242.5 × 44.5 cm (95 1/4 × 17 1/2 in.)
Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Chauncey B. Borland
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Marianne Carlano and Larry Salomon, editors. “French Textiles: From the Middle Ages through the Second Empire (Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum, 1985), p. 65., no. 38.
Christa Charlotte Mayer. Masterpieces of Western Textiles from The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1969), p. 112, pl. 86.
Christa C. Mayer Thurman. Textiles in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1992), pp. 90, 147 (illus.).
Susan Wise, ed. Selected Works of 18th Century French Art in the Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1976), pp. 208, 209 (illus.), no. 332.
Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpieces of Western Textiles, Jan. 25–Mar. 2, 1969.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Selected Works of Eighteenth Century French Art in the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, January 24–March 28, 1976
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, European Textile Masterpieces from Coptic Times through the 19th Century, September 27, 1989–January 22, 1990
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Textile Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago’s Collection, February 17–May 2, 1993
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Flowering Silks: 18th Century Designs from the Permanent Collection—A Tribute to Mildred L. Davison (1901–1995), June 14–October 1, 1995
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 63, Department of European Decorative Arts, April 7 - September 1, 1999
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 64, Department of European Decorative Arts, January 21- May 24, 2004
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