October 17, 2019
On display through January 12th at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris is MODERN MAHARAJAH, an exhibit honoring the visionary Maharajah of Indore, shown above with his first wife, the Maharani Sanyogita Devi.
Perhaps the only thing more elegant than the Maharajah and Maharani is their palace, known as Manik Bagh. It’s achingly beautiful, with pieces by modern luminaries like Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier. The rugs, which are cunning, were designed by French-Brazilian painter Ivan da Silva Bruhns.
After studying biology and medicine, da Silva Bruhns became a painter. By 1925, he had begun to make rugs outside of Paris. He learned about weaving by immersing himself in its history: unraveling Oriental rugs to understand and master the technique of hand-knotting, and incorporating Berber and Mexican understanding. He sketched and painted each rug on cardboard before it was made.
These handwoven wool-on-wool pieces were custom-made in the 1930s for the palace. Each has 3-4 overlapping, natural-feeling blocks of color, selected according to the Maharajah’s preferences. They adorned the vast interiors of the palace like abstract paintings with their flat, architectural compositions.
Looking for something with a similar feel? We have some ideas.
Cenek was woven in Taşpınar, which is known for producing geometric designs.
Inna is overdyed to a vibrant, shining bubblegum pink with a crosshatched fade for movement.
Eystein's a flatweave with a jazzy, simple line-and-dot pattern.
The inky, deep black of Nionila is made of silky-soft brushed goat hair, adding to its luxury.
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