110
110
Christian Bérard
CARPET
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 200,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
110
Christian Bérard
CARPET
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 200,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Modernist Vision: Property from the Collection of Nelson & Happy Rockefeller

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New York

Christian Bérard
1902 - 1949
CARPET
Hand-woven wool
120 by 115 in.
304.8 by 292.1 cm
Executed by Aubusson, France in 1939 for the Rockefeller 810 Fifth Avenue apartment.
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Provenance

Commissioned directly from the artist by Jean-Michel Frank for Nelson Rockefeller in 1939

Literature

Van Day Truex, "Jean-Michel-Frank Remembered," in Architectural Digest, September-October 1976, illustrated p. 74
Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1980, illustration of another example pp. 162 & 197
Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1997, illustration of another example pp. 168 & 237
John Loring, "Nelson Rockefeller's Fifth Avenue Apartment: Recalling the Residence of the Notable Politician and Philanthropist," in Architectural Digest, April 2001, illustrated pp. 102 & 106
Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period, Paris, 2006, illustration of another example p. 190
Jean-Michel Frank: Un Décorateur dans les Paris des Années 30
(exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, 2009, illustrated p. 67

Catalogue Note

For much of his career, Jean-Michel Frank committed his interior designs to a neutral color palette. White, eggshell, beige, camel—such soft tones allowed volume and form to dictate the spaces Frank created. He even scrutinized and resisted the inclusion of paintings within his carefully conceived interiors, arguing that their decorative presence was disruptive to the natural harmony of forms. Over time, his taste evolved and color slowly became part of his mature aesthetic. This shift is partly attributable to his collaboration with painter, fashion illustrator and set designer Christian Bérard. Upon meeting in the late 1920s, Frank was seduced by Bérard’s expressive and stylish designs. He began commissioning Bérard to create tapestries, which typically featured floral, figural, and fashion motifs. Sage green, pale blue, lemon yellow and soft mauve—Bérard’s preferred palette—entered Frank’s interiors in the form of upholstery, carpets and painted decorations, imparting a levity, poetry and playfulness that were previously absent from the Frank’s work.

Nelson Rockefeller personally selected two Bérard carpets for his living room, including the present carpet, which was positioned near the Léger fireplace. It is referenced under identification number 41 in Rockefeller and Frank's correspondence from October 31, 1938. Upon reviewing carpet design options sent to him by Frank, Rockefeller replied in a letter dated January 13, 1939 that he "liked very much the sketches for the carpets." Frank wrote back several days later to ensure "The two carpet drawings you selected have been put into exact scale by an artist who works for me under Bérard's and my supervision and I presume I shall go in a month or so to Aubusson to see how they are progressing." In April 1939, the two carpets were shipped on the S.S. Normandie ocean liner.

A Modernist Vision: Property from the Collection of Nelson & Happy Rockefeller

|
New York