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This artwork, An Important Aubusson Carpet to a Design by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc for the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris by Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, is currently for sale at Carlton Hobbs LLC.
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Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, An Important Aubusson Carpet to a Design by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc for the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris
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TITLE:  An Important Aubusson Carpet to a Design by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc for the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris
ARTIST:  Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (French, 1814–1879)
WORK DATE:  circa 1850 - 1875
PERIOD:  19th century
CATEGORY:  Textiles
MATERIALS:  Of flat woven wool. The whole centered by a temple of Islamic design issuing a profusion of stylized foliate tendrils against a red ground and edged with a border decorated with a repeat acanthus pattern.
SIZE:  Length: 20' (6 m); Width: 15' (4.59m).
PRICE*:  Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY:  Carlton Hobbs LLC  +1-212-423-9000  Send Email
DESCRIPTION:  The design of the present carpet was the work of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) for the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Paris in the 1860s.

Viollet-le-Duc was a highly talented and individualistic architect and designer, as well as being an eminent art historian. Despite an early passion for architecture, he refused to enter the École des Beaux-Arts, choosing instead the experience of working with practicing architects and traveling France and Italy to view great works from the past. Viollet-le-Duc was part of an international group of theorists who imbued ornament with a new importance, and his Entretiens sur l’architecture (1858) was cited by Victor Horta and Gaudí as an influence on their theories of architecture.

As a leading member of the Conseil des Bâtiments Civils, Viollet-le-Duc won the prestigious assignment to restore the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris from the Commission des Monuments Historiques in 1845, a project that lasted until the end of his life. His plans, drawings and sketches for the project were reproduced in his 1868 publication, Chapelles de Notre Dame de Paris: Peintures murales executées sur les cartons de E. Viollet-Le-Duc … relevées par Maurice Ouradou. It is this work which includes the design for the present carpet.

Two carpets were produced to this design, the present piece and one that had formerly been laid out in the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Paris and today remains in possession of the cathedral. Importantly, both the Notre Dame carpet and the present example are of identical dimensions. They differ only in that the top of the Notre Dame carpet is curved to accommodate the steps of the altar, whereas the top of the present carpet is straight. Apart from this aspect, which affects one of the outer borders, the entire complex design of the body of the carpets is identical in both. Additionally, Viollet-le-Duc also created carpeting of complementary design to cover the stairs leading up to the altar of the catherdral, which is embroidered with the name of its maker, FREDERIC TIXIER / Fbt DE TAPIS À AUBUSSON.

The central subject of the carpet is most likely based on the design of an ablution fountain, a structure situated in the heart of the courtyard of some Islamic mosques. A leading professor of Islamic architecture kindly pointed out a likely source of inspiration for Viollet-le-Duc, when drawing the central theme for the present carpet. He further explained that “Viollet-le-Duc was indeed very much familiar with Islamic architecture. He knew and read the work of two architects and art historians who traveled to and worked in Egypt: Pascal Coste who published a major book, Architecture Arabe ou Monuments du Caire and Jules Bourgeoin who wrote L’art Arabe.” The professor suggested that “Le Duc might have seen a similar pavilion in the illustrations of Coste’s book, which he owned [...] he even wrote about Coste in his own book.” Indeed, imagery from numerous plates within this publication reverberates throughout the details of the carpet, such as the shaped finial on top of the domed monument, its horseshoe arches and the exotic palms and vegetation growing on top of and through the structure.

PROVENANCE:  Private Collection, Paris
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S):  Carlton Hobbs LLC Inventory Catalogue
*Prices subject to change

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