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- Date of production 18th century
- Place of creation France
- Dimensions height: ca. 30 cm
- ID no. AH/1478, KW/3052
- Object copyright Museum of Ziemia Biecka in Biecz
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska’s Virtual Museums project
The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.more
The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.
Since the 17th century it was mainly produced in France. During the rococo period, when they enjoyed their greatest popularity, fans were ornamented with extraordinarily rich and intricate forms, with the decorations being sometimes created by the most famous court painters.
The object on display is a folding fan attached to a radial frame made from whalebone. Bone slats are carved in an openwork fashion and after unfolding they form one piece depicting putti playing surrounded by a rocaille ornament against a checked background and rococo cartouches with instruments and fruit painted in decorative boxes. The frame is polychrome, whereas the outline of the ornament is gilded. The upper part is made of a piece of paper, which is a section of a circle folded into segments. When unfolded, it shows a pastoral scene with courtiers, a shepherdess and sheep, all resting in the shade of trees. The scene is rimmed with a border made of rocaille and flowers.
Idyllic and pastoral scenes, portrayed as love antics, were characteristic of the French rococo period. They served as themes in painting and as a decoration of various everyday objects. Their lightness, elusiveness, frivolity and tendency toward lush decorations were a reflection of the taste and worldview of the 1st half of the 18th century.
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