La marchande d'amours

Manufactory: Oberkampf Manufactory (French, active 1760–1843)

Designer: Louis Hippolyte Lebas (French, 1782–1867)

Date: ca. 1816

Culture: French, Jouy-en-Josas

Medium: Cotton

Dimensions: L. 90 x W. 99 inches (as one piece)
228.6 x 251.5 cm

Classification: Textiles-Printed

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1926

Accession Number: 26.238.9a–f


The title of this piece, which translates as "The Merchant of Love" or "The Cupid Seller," is based on the scene in one of the octagonal cartouches showing a woman selling winged cupids from a cage. In 1816, Lebas was asked by Émile Oberkampf, son of the factory founder Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, to produce several patterns for the firm. The Museum has two pieces resulting from that commission: "La Marchande d'Amours" and a pattern showing various historic sites in Paris. This exemplified a type of Neoclassical scenic textile popular during the first two decades of the nineteenth century in which a variety of motifs following a theme were isolated in decorative frames against a geometric patterned background. In contrast to eighteenth-century narrative designs, in which motifs float like islands on a white ground, these early nineteenth-century cottons form an overall decorative pattern unified by the geometric background.