Aubusson Manufactory (attr. to), Rug, c. 1795-1800
625 x 650 cm
Wool and hemp
© Les Arts Décoratifs
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The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which boasts a number of reconstructed period rooms, was keen to acquire a rug to complement the splendid wood paneling from the Hôtel de Serres which once stood on Place Louis-le-Grand. The piece that was acquired is a rare example of the kind of low-pile, flat-weave rug that was first produced in the 1770s-1780s. Most of these pieces, reserved for an elite, were made in the workshops of the royal Savonnerie factory, but as their popularity increased in the mid-eighteenth century, other factories were authorized to weave them to satisfy the growing demand. From 1743 onward this concerned the Aubusson factory, which managed a large number of private workshops placed under royal supervision. As the Beauvais factory no longer produced this kind of rug after 1792, this one was probably made in Aubusson. The composition and decorative repertoire reflect the taste for classical antiquity, expressed by geometrically arranged scrolls, medallions, cameos, griffins and chimeras. The colors – Pompeian red, almond green and dark brown – are also indicative of this period, which saw the introduction of styles that would flourish during the Directoire and Consulate under the influence of artists such as Démosthène Dugourc and François Joseph Bélanger, disseminated later by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine.