The marriage of art and commerce: Philippe Lasalle’s success in silks

Miller, Lesley Ellis (2005) The marriage of art and commerce: Philippe Lasalle’s success in silks. In, Scott, Katie and Cherry, Deborah (eds.) Between Luxury and the Everyday: Decorative Arts in Eighteenth-Century France. Oxford, UK, Blackwell, 63-88.


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Since the eighteenth century Philippe Lasalle (1723-1804) has enjoyed a reputation as the most successful designer-manufacturer-inventor in the world-renowned silk manufacturing centre of Lyons during the ancien régime. This article proposes that it was through the conscious marriage of art and commerce that Lasalle made his fortune and arrived at his technological inventions, that his efforts at turning painterly drawings into textiles acted as the springboard for his major commercial commissions and afforded him access to the taste-leaders of eighteenth-century Europe. Armed with a clear understanding of contemporary institutions and practices in academic art and textile manufacturing, the Académie Royale, the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, and the Grande Fabrique at Lyons, Lasalle drew fully on State incentives to expand upon and market ranges of French luxury goods. This proposal problematises the existing views of Lasalle who has remained largely a local hero, nicely contextualised relative to Lyons and Lyonnais activities but somewhat underestimated relative to his manipulation of other worlds. The thesis derives from detailed examination of Lasalle’s known textile output from the time he formed his first partnership in 1751 till he fled from Lyons at the beginning of the French Revolution.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 1405131683 (hardback)
9781405131681 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Philippe de Lasalle, silk manufacturing, eighteenth century, design, Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, Académie Royale.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
D History General and Old World > DC France
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Art
ePrint ID: 48173
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
December 2005Published
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:31

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