Bridging Arts

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ripping rococo in the Hotel de Soubise

The Hotel de Soubise in Paris - one of the best preserved examples of rococo decoration in France. Hannah mentioned this in her talk about the Turkish rococo motif of a horn of plenty, that she desighed for one of our new embroidery packs.
Having never been v interested in rococo, try and find out more.

The Princess's salon (1737-49) is full of the ornate scrolls, tendrils, creeping fronds and shells that Hannah described when she presented the motif last November.
I confess - up to now, I had always thought rococo was stuffy, overpowering and hard to warm to. But the spiralling curves and mirrors of this oval room lift the spirits.

The Hotel de Soubise now houses the French National Archives. In the bookshop discover that there was an exhibition - some years ago now - of swatches of Marie Antoinette's dress fabric. Only a postcard left as a reminder. Though the book (with images of the patterns) is still available on Amazon, it seems... Gazette des atours de Marie-Antoinette, Queen's wardrobe 1782.
She was beheaded in 1793.