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Exotic textile design - From Africa to Thailand - Natalia Willmott
Exotic textile design - From Africa to Thailand - Natalia Willmott
Exotic textile design - From Africa to Thailand - Natalia Willmott

Exotic textile design - From Africa to Thailand




France, Lyon, 1920-30

Possibly by Robert Bonfils

Watercolour and ink on Paper

Two Faces, one Asian With a Coolie Hat and One African or North African with a turban amongst palm Trees and various Buildings (a temple and a mosque?), With a Sailing Boat in the Horizon

These designs are very reminiscent of the artist Robert Bonfils (1886-1972) and might be by him. He was a fabric Designer For Bianchini Ferier ( A lyon based silk manufacturer) but was also a Great graphic artist who contributed illustrations to famous magazines such as the Gazette du Bon Ton. He received the commision to design the front cover of the 1925 Art Deco exhibition (Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes).  His texile Design for the fabric “Oasis “and Also his design For a scarf “la conquete d’Algerie” amongst others are similar to these designs in style and colour.

A Fantastical Exoticism is present here which many artist such as Robert Bonfils,  Raoul Dufy, Charles Dufrene and Jean Beaumont coveted. This exoticism and interest in ancient cultures, the Mayan civilisation and African Art was also very present in theatre such as the famous ballet russes Dance Company of Daghilev and influenced all the other arts. these designs recall the wonderful costumes and scenography created for ballets.

* * *

Twentieth Century Textiles (Part II from Neoclassicism to Pop) Francesca Galloway and Sue Kerry, London 2007, p108

Tissus Art Deco en France, Alain Rene Hardy, Paris, 2001

Victoria And Albert Museum website, textiles L’Afrique and Oasis

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Exotic textile design - From Africa to Thailand



how do you know this item is special?

I have been working in the Art and Antiques field for more than 30 years. I have a BA/Masters degree in Art History from the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and Oxford University and worked with a high end dealer in London for many years as well as a display of Art firm.

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