Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pied-à-terre Jansen 1943

The colors in these illustrations of Mme M's Parisian pied-à-terre by Jansen are a pure delight. Illustrator, Pierre Mourgue, better known for his work in fashion , captures the glowing quality of burnt tones set off by the surrounding cool violet-touched silver sophistication.

This elegant apartment served for receptions and as an after-theatre gathering place. It was created in 1943 when wartime transportation had become unreliable making Mme M's grand suburban residence unattainable during the late hours of her Parisian social life. This former atelier in the rue Saint Didier with loggia and a multitude of nooks made original interpretations of the space possible. The silver folding screen, modern tapestries by Legueux et Planson and heavy curtains of bordeaux velvet hung from the ceiling give a characteristic theatrical feel -

all worked in with the supreme refinement of the color scheme.

I couldn't help but think of another divan by Jansen in seeing this image...

The enviable object is here in the home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

These illustrations by Mourgue are from the Gazette du Bon Ton and date to the 20s. Alas,
I didn't have an example contemporary with the interior to show.

Illustrations such as these are full of color inspiration - be it for clothing or interiors.

As for Maison Jansen, probably the first of interior design firm, it was such a large operation and lasted so long (1880-1989) that at any given moment there are furnishings to offer on the market. In passing, a design school now occupies Jansen's manufacturing sites.
These sconces are to be found on eBay until the 21st of November.

The following three pieces were part of the Manalo March sale last October at Christie's. March was one of the firm's most important clients, after the Shah of Iran, during the second half of the 20th century.
Ormolu and glass table by Stéphane Boudin circa 1960

Lacquered brass and lapis lazuli gueridon circa 1965 by Pierre Delbée of Maison Jansen Christie's

4 green painted and parcel gilt side chairs circa 1965

Pierre Delbée of Maison Jansen Christie's


  1. we are inspired by one another-and all the overlapping of a thing, sometimes anything. Then Jansen Windsor residence divan is divine-the watercolours likewise the, fashion drawings. I supposedly have a small Jansen wall console-ohlala. G.

  2. The illustrations by Pierre Mourgue,
    are really beautiful.

  3. To G - let's keep it up! I'm not even surprised you have a Jansen piece but I will scour your photos better!

    Debra, Aren't they lovely! I'm glad to bring this sort of thing to light because not much seems to be known about Mourgue other than that he was a prolific fashion illustrator.

  4. Wonderful illustrations. Why did that kind of painting die out? Jeremiah Goodman here in the States is about all that's left in that field.

  5. I'll look into Goodman - maybe you have some illustrations? One wonders what renders the ambiance best. Yes, it would be good to keep both options - photo and painting/drawing. I would love to be able to compare the two examples.

  6. There is an illustration done by Jeremiah Goodman on my blog and there is a book called Jeremiah about his work.


  7. As everyone else has commented -- the renderings are stunning. it is so difficult to capture the tactile quality and light as he has. pretty fabulous!