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Saint Aubin, Charles Germain de (1721-1786)

Illustration taken from L'Art du Brodeur by Charles Germain de Saint Aubin (1770), showing a method of embroidering with paillettes. Illustration taken from L'Art du Brodeur by Charles Germain de Saint Aubin (1770), showing a method of embroidering with paillettes.

Charles Germain de Saint Aubin (1721-1786) was a draughtsman and embroidery designer to King Louis XV (1710-1774) of France. His parents were Germain de Saint Aubin and Anne Boissay, both of whom were professional embroiderers. His paternal grandfather had moved from the countryside to Paris and had set up an embroidery atelier.

Charles Germain de St. Aubin was the author of L’art du Brodeur (1770; 'The Art of the Embroiderer'), which has become a classic reference work for French and northern European embroidery.

He received the official title of Royal Embroiderer (Dessinateur du Roi pour la broderie et la dentelle) at the court of Louis XV (compare the title of King's Embroiderer in Britain). He may also have been the author or co-author, together with two of his brothers, of the Livre de bonnes caricatures tant de bonnes que mauvaises ('The Book of Caricature – both good and bad'), which ridiculised life at the royal court. In Saint Aubin's family, the book was reputedly known as the Livre des culs. The book was acquired by Ferdinand de Rothschild and housed at Waddesdon Manor.

At the end of his life, Saint-Aubin composed the Livre des Saint Aubin (Louvre acc. no. RF52178). Another album he composed contains drawings of flowers (Receuil de plantes), now in the Oak Spring Garden Library, Upperville, Virginia, USA.

Illustration: Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin (?), Les nonnes s'amusent de tout, from: Livre de bonnes caricatures tant de bonnes que mauvaises, ca. 1740-1775, Waddesdon Manor, acc. no. 675.292.

Sources:

  • DRAG, Sabina (2016). 'Charles Germain de Saint Aubin. A royal embroiderer,' Zlote Raczki, History of Embroidery, downloadable here (retrieved 7th May 2017).
  • JONES, Colin, Juliet CAREY and Emily RICHASRDSON (2012). The Saint-Aubin Livre de Caricatures: Drawing Satire in Eighteenth-century Paris. Voltaire Foundation.
  • SAINT AUBIN, Charles Germain de (1770). L’art du Brodeur, Paris: De l’Imprimerie de L. F. Delatour.
  • SAINT AUBIN, Charles Germain de (1983). The Art of the Embroiderer, translation by Nikki Scheuer, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles: David R. Godine Publishers Inc.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 29th May 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Sunday, 07 May 2017 09:55