Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Musee de la Toile de Jouy review

My favorite museum among the many visited during a 10-day trip from London, to Ghent, Bruges, then Paris and around Versailles - is the Musee de la Toile de Jouy.  We traveled via bus (a trip of less than a half hour), found across from the train station - very near the Palace of Versailles entrance.  

During the latter part of the 18th century there occurred a trend  - people of affluence developed an affinity for rustic simplicity.  The Queen's Hamlet of Versailles exhibits this preference for nature and for the charming structures of Norman or Flemish design.  Likewise, many of the fabrics produced in Jouy-en-Josas at this time show a love of the countryside, depicting: orchards, ponds, mills, farm animals, meadows, birds, streams, cascades, flowers, and quaint figures in romantic poses, playing instruments, or tending to chores.

The toile de jouy cloth produced in Jouy-en-Josas by Oberkampf in the 18th century is a wonderful example of art reflecting its environment and of how art reflects popular culture.  To be able to observe the actual landscape which influenced so many of the toile de jouy scenes, and to learn the methods in which the cloth was printed was a true honor.  I hope to visit this beautiful setting again and spend more time in the museum.

Before visiting Musee de la Toile de Jouy, we did roam the Palace of Versailles to which we journeyed from Paris via Metro and then RER (train).  Observing the crowds at the Palace of Versailles, it seems the majority of people prefer to head directly into the sumptuous areas, but we enjoyed a lengthy stroll from the Palace to the Queen's Hamlet, appreciating the design of the grounds.  Earlier in the trip, I marveled at the Salle de Fetes (or grand ballroom) within the Musee d'Orsay - which I deemed comparable to what the Palace of Versailles might offer - extremely lovely and lavish:
Salle de Fetes, Musee d'Orsay - Toile La La photo 2015

Salle de Fetes, Musee d'Orsay - Toile La La photo 2015

Salle de Fetes, Musee d'Orsay - Toile La La photo 2015
But the Queen's Hamlet at the outer grounds of Versailles feels like a breath of fresh air in its sylvan simplicity.  Scroll near the end of my earlier Paris Exploration post - here - to see photos from both Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet and the Musee de la Toile de Jouy. 
toile de jouy - image Musee de la Toile de Jouy
image from Musee de la Toile de Jouy website
We visited after our Versailles exploration and allotted only an hour within the museum, which happened to be the hour just before closing.  I would like to spend at least two hours in the museum, studying the exhibits, the cloth - and spend additional time perusing the excellent gift shop.  I was sorry to have to leave, but returning to Paris was simple enough - a short walk to the RER.  More, here at the Musee de la Toile de Jouy website - or their document, in English.