Tuesday, January 21, 2014
That Reminds Me...
After spending last week in bed with the flu, I am finally beginning to feel like a human again. Well, sort of. But the thought of having to string multiple sentences together gives me a headache, so I'm not really going to attempt to do much writing for this post. However, I can still connect photos with one another, so bear with me as I try to make sense of this semi-stream of consciousness blog post.
I was recently doing some research when I came across the photo at the top of this post. The bed that you see once belonged to the fashionable 18th-century British actor, David Garrick, and his wife. The Garricks were at the forefront of 18th-century fashion, and they, like so many other wealthy Europeans of the day, took a shining to chintz, using the fabric for bed hangings and a cover on their beautiful Thomas Chippendale-designed bed. Chippendale crafted not only a bed for the Garricks, but also a set of wardrobes, a small bookcase, and a corner cabinet, all of which were painted with Chinoiserie motifs. This set of Chippendale furniture, which is now part of the collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum (where this photograph was taken,) has to be one of the most charming sets of painted furniture that I have ever seen. You can see just a hint of the furniture in the left-hand side of the photo.
But going back to that chintz. The Tree of Life chintz on the Garrick bed, which is a reproduction of the bed's original chintz, was a popular chintz pattern in the 18th century. This might be the reason why Henry Francis du Pont chose a similar Tree of Life chintz cover for one of the beds at Winterthur, which I photographed during my visit there a few years ago.
And another fashionable man, Hubert de Givenchy, chose the same Tree of Life print for his guest bedroom at his French manor, Le Jonchet. I'm pretty certain that the fabric is by Braquenié. And yes, I've shown this photo on my blog in the past, but it bears repeating.
And from France, we travel to California, where the same Braquenié fabric was used in a room of what I believe is Dawnridge. The corresponding rock-outcropping print, also by Braquenié, I think, was used on the walls of the adjoining room. You can tell that the model can hardly contain herself, such is the chicness of her surroundings. I can't say that I blame her.
But it isn't only this Tree of Life chintz that has inspired designers through the years. It's the Chippendale painted furniture that captivates some (myself included.) Here, decorative painter John Sutcliffe painted a mirror to mimic the Garrick's set of bedroom furniture.
And now, after that burst of energy, I'm going back to bed.