Picture story

Picture Story: Kashmiri Shawl On European Canvas

The Arrival Of Kashmiri Shawl In Europe:

It is still commonly retold that the Kashmir shawls arrival and popularisation in Europe were due to Napoleon and Josephine respectively. Supposedly, when on campaign in Egypt from 1798-1801, Napoleon came into possession of some form of high-quality Kashmir shawl, perhaps a shahtoosh or a Kani, and, on returning to France, he presented it to his wife. Being a figure of universal admiration and noted taste, Josephine is then supposed to have brought the garment into vogue in the courts and salons of early  nineteenth-century Europe.

Monalisa by Da-Vinci painted in 1503. The painting is of Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, and is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. The subject can be seen wearing a thin shah-toosh shawl.
This charming portrait of Anne-Marie Louise Thélusson, Comtesse de Sorcy was completed by Jacques Louis David in 1790. Her dress is made of white cotton. A small shawl over her left shoulder and elements of it hang down below her leg, revealing a patterned tip.
Christine Boyer was a member of the Bonaparte family, as the sister of Lucien Bonaparte’s housekeeper and then Lucien’s first wife- by Antoine Jean Gros – 1800 – Wearing Kashmir Paisley Shawl.
Madame Récamier (Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier) in a Kashmir Shawl by Francois Gérard, 1802.
Portrait of Catherine Worlée, Princesse de Talleyrand-Périgord with a Kashmir Paisley Shawl – portrait by François Gérard, 1805.
Madame Philibert Riviere by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1805.
She was an influential court official in the Napoleonic Empire. Seated on a blue cushion, she wears a wide necked prom dress, with a high waist and short sleeves, a cream colored chiffon, and a cashmere shawl.
Yelizaveta Demidova,1805 by Lefevre, Robert – She was the wife of Nikolai Demidov, the exceeding wealthy owner of mines and foundries in the Urals, Russia; Wearing Kashmir Shawl and a dress with Kashmiri Paisley motif embroidery.
L’Imperatrice Josephine (1808) by Antoine Jean Gros. Josephine was Napoleon’s wife and was known for her aesthetic sense. Here, she wears a gown made of shawl and accessorises it with another (orange) shawl. The shawl was gifted by Egyptian Khedive as a gift to Napoleon.
Portrait of Madame Panckoucke wearing Kashmir Shawl by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1811.
Mother and Two Children by A E Chalon, 1812. Chalon was well known for his small, sprightly portraits, chiefly in watercolour; which brilliantly capture the manners and fashions of the day.
Portrait de Madame de Senonnes, John Auguste Ingres 1814, shows Madame de Senonnes, née Marie-Genevieve-Marguerite Marcoz, viscountess of Senonnes
The portrait is considered one of Ingres’ finest.
Portrait of the Vicomtesse Vilain XIIII wearing a Kashmir Shawl and her daughter, Jacques Louis David, 1816.
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales; Leopold I, King of the Belgians by William Thomas Fry, after George Dawe coloured engraving, based on work of 1817.
Mary Lodge, Bride of Baron Charles-Louis de Keverberg de Kessel wearing Kashmir Paisley Shawl, 1818.
Portrait of Colette Versavel Wife of Isaac J de Meyer holding a Kashmir Paisley Shawl – by Ducq Joseph Francois, 1822.
Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, wearing Kashmiri shawl, 1823.
Königin Pauline Württemberg wearing a Kashmir Paisley Shawl by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1825. She is holding her son Karl who married Grand Princess Olga.
Portrait of Sophie of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, wearing Kashmiri Paisley Shawl, 1831.
Departing for the Promenade, by Alfred Émile Léopold Stevens, 1859.
“The Reluctant Bride,” by Auguste Toulmouche, 1866.
The centre of attention apart from the beautiful bride is her friend’s Kashmiri shawl.
Madame Louis Joachim Gaudibert by Claude Monet, 1868. In 1867, a wealthy friend and patron, Louis-Joachim Gaudibert, a shipowner, commissioned Monet to paint three portraits. In one of the portraits of his wife, she can be seen wearing a closely knit Kashmiri Jamovar.

References: Wikipedia, National geography magazine, British museum archives, Kashmir company blog, Pashmina blog.

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