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.
Currently Off View
- Jean-Demosthene Dugourc
- The Pheasants from the "Verdures of the Vatican" Series
- 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.)
- Restricted gift of Mrs. Chauncey B. Borland