Lyon, maison Barnier, d’après Roussel, 1730-1733, “Brocart”. Soie, fils d’or - Inv. 49488
Silk weaving was officially established in Lyon under the initiative of François I (after Louis XI’s unsuccessful attempt). The first workshops producing “gold, silver and silk fabrics” borrowed techniques from the Italians, who had been very active in Lyon since the Renaissance. However, the Fabrique Lyonnaise really established itself in 1536 (through the influence of Turquet and Naris).
In 1730, “la Fabrique” in Lyons was in a difficult economic situation. Gaspard Moÿse de Fontanière, head of the “garde meuble royal” in Paris, placed orders to several manufacturers for seven interior decorations (meubles) : a velvet with a gold ground and six brocaded silks for unspecified royal residences. This wall hanging fragment is the only one preserved of this initial Royal commission. It was not used till 1785.Jean–Démosthène Dugourc, then draughtsman at the “garde meuble”, chose it to decorate the king’s bedroom which was only used for the levee and couchee receptions. Pierre Verlet pointed out that Louis XVI chose this textile “grand siècle” to decorate the state bedroom so as to honour the “Sun King”.