Pair of Three-panel Screens (paravents)

Object Details


Pair of Three-panel Screens (paravents)


Probably after cartoons by Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay (French, 1653 - 1715)
and Alexandre-François Desportes (French, 1661 - 1743)
Savonnerie Manufactory (French, active 1627 - present)




1714 to 1740


Wool and linen; cotton twill gimp; wooden interior frame; modern velvet lining

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The Savonnerie workshops, the royal manufactory that provided carpets, screens, and covers for chairs and benches for the sole use of the French royal household, made this pair of three-panel screens of knotted woolen pile. Such screens were known as paravents (against the wind) and were usually kept folded in the corners of dining rooms or anterooms of the palaces. When needed, servants would arrange the screens to protect the occupants from drafts.

The Savonnerie manufactory produced eight different designs for screens, of which the Getty Museum's examples are the tallest. Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay provided the cartoons for these screens in 1714, and François Desportes drew the birds in the central panels. Each panel has a yellow ground, while the flowers, leaves, and birds are woven in equally vivid shades. The relatively unfaded colors of this pair make them exceptional in comparison to other surviving screens.

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