J’adore François Boucher!

18th century French painter François Boucher said about nature “trop verte et mal éclairée” (too green and badly lit) in a letter to Nicolas Lancret, another French painter.

When you think of 18th century France you probably first think of Marie Antoinette, sumptuous fabrics, larger than life powdered hairstyles, and flowers, so many flowers!

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François Boucher was supporte by his patroness, Madame de Pompadour, the official mistress to King Louis XV. Not to go off topic, but have you ever read anything about Madame de Pompadour? She seemed like a super cool, super classy lady! If I lived back in the day and was French (AND super rich) I would hope Jeanne and I would have been buddies! / IMG SRC: Detail of The Interrupted Sleep by Francois Boucher 

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Ok, back to Mister Boucher! He was known for incredibly dreamy and sumptuous paintings and also for pastoral scenes. If you know me at all, you’ll know I am a huge HUGE fan of anything fancy AND pastoral. / IMG SRC: (top) Madame Pompadour by Francois BoucherMadame Bergeret 1746 by Francois Boucher

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As much flack as Marie Antoinette got for building her Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet) where she dressed like a milkmaid and romped around fields and picnicked with her children while sheep grazed by… I TOTALLY GET IT! I’d probably do the same thing… but not build a fake village. I’d just go buy a real village and go hang with the locals and give them jobs. / IMG SRC: In the Garden by Francois Boucher

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Gosh, I keep going off topic. Actually, this really isn’t just about François Boucher, it’s more about WHY I adore his work so much. He painted such a beautiful part of history, so idyllic, so romantic, so absolutely dreamy. And he added some naughty bits. Some eroticism and mysticism all cleverly hidden in flowers, fruits, and the scenery.

And some weren’t hidden, some were just in your face, look at this naked lady with a swan right *there* (just google it) / IMG SRC: above and both below are from Francois Boucher Gallery

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Francois Boucher, Rococo Pastorale

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Antique Embroidery & Sample Books

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I’ve been wanting to learn how to embroider for several months now and I remember before moving to Portland I had promised myself to make time to do all these things I’ve been wanting to do.

Like learn flower arranging (check), learn how to use a pottery wheel (working on this), and learn how to embroider (on it!)

Last week I went to Fabric Depot and picked up several embroidery threads based on a 1940s pressed flower art piece I have. I’ll have to post photos of my progress on my current vintage dress revitalization progress… but for now I wanted to share some really stunning antique and vintage embroidery samples that just have me swooning.

The art of embroidery I feel has long been forgotten by most women. I’ve always thought the idea of it was so romantic and pleasant. I think of being tucked away in a garden cottage with a hot cup of tea nearby and passing a rainy day away with my needle and thread.

Have you ever taken up embroidery? Do you think it’s really old fashioned?

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Detail Waistcoat embroidery, suit, 1774-1793, French, silk (source)

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Samples of stitches (source)

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Antique embroidery from 1797, isn’t this just so exquisite? I adore the colors. (source)

0f771a6672721fa4f9d7e7552586258e 81b029f41982dec75c7020a1f742876cThese two samples are just so amazing! I’ll have to give ribbon work a try eventually! I just think these would be so lovely embroidered along a vintage skirt hem, don’t you think? (source)

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Embroidery on a jacket from 1775-1780. Isn’t this just so simple and lovely? I love the touch of the sequins too. (source)

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I think my next project will be a monotone embroidery piece. I love how this looks. Would be terrific on a 1920s dress or an Edwardian dress that has a few spots that need to be disguised.

c93de3ef40897c03fb606ac67b0dabacOh my gosh, this is just so gorgeous! Look at the ribbon work, it looks like it’s liquid! (source)

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Antique tambour embroidery work on an 18th century satin waistcoat. (source)

 

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