la toilette

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Power Breakfast Inspired by a King: The 18th-Century Toilette

The Milliner / Francois Boucher

When posh Parisians in the mid-18th century greeted the day, their morning ritual wasn’t anything like our hasty shower, breakfast, and dash out the door. Their toilette, or ritual of rising and dressing, was an hours-long activity of luxurious pampering,… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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