Journal Article

Representing Silk Design

Lesley Ellis Miller

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 17, issue 1, pages 29-53
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI:
Representing Silk Design

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Le Dessinateur pour les étoffes d'or, d'argent et de soie was published in Paris in 1765 depite the reservations of the silk-weaving guild of Lyons, receiving a good response in the Enlightenment press. As the first description on French of the trade of silk designer to appear in the public domain, it has become an important work on which much subsequent history has been based, often rather uncritically. This article delves into the representation of design offered by this text, evaluating it against the personal experience of its author, the literary and manufacturing heritage on which he drew, and the readership for women it was intended. The analysis is based on the form and content of the book, the structure, vocabulary and illustrations. Comparative data are drawn from two other important publications on silk manufacture, the relevant sections of Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie and Jean Paulet's L'Art du fabriquant.

Keywords: designer—design manual—eighteenth century—France—de l'Hiberderie, Antoine-Nicolas Joubert—silk

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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