THE TESTAMENT OF…JEAN COCTEAU & ROCHE BOBOIS








“One hundred years after my death, I will rest, my fortune made.”
– Jean Cocteau –




Fame and recognition did not take as long as that. Fifty years after Jean Cocteau’s death, Roche Bobois, the high-end contemporary French furniture company, has the privilege to have been entrusted by the Jean Cocteau Committee – chaired by Pierre Bergé, who holds the exclusive moral rights to Jean Cocteau’s work, one of his best friends – with the responsibility of creating a new collection around a man celebrated as one of the greatest French artists of his time.


The meticulously crafted range includes cushions, bed linen, throws, lampshades and upholstery, and also rugs, thereby adding an original dimension to the works. The result is a range of fine quality accessories whose motifs and patterns blend art with decoration.



Pierre Berge

Pierre Berge


Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) was a multi-disciplinary protean artist: he was a poet, a novelist, a designer, a painter, a playwright, a choreographer, a scenographer, a film director, a scriptwriter, an actor, a publisher, a journalist and a radio personality who embraced creativity in all its forms and embarked on a prolific career.




The ethereal genius was part of the French and international glitterati circles and counted as some of his close friends Pablo Picasso, Jean Marais (his long-time partner),
Henri Bernstein, Yul Brynner, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Édith Piaf, Amedeo Modigliani, Maurice Ravel, Madeleine Castaing and Jeanne Moreau.
In 1955 Cocteau was made a Member of the Académie française and Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, the highest accolades bestowed by the French government.




Cocteau is best remembered for his plays and movies La Belle et la Bête
(Beauty and the Beast
), Les Parents Terribles (The Storm Within), Orphée
(Orpheus) and Le Testament d’Orphée (The Testament of Orpheus) but also his ceramics which circulate today in antiques fairs (last spotted by A-Gent of Style this year at Lapada).






This collection shows several of Cocteau’s facets. With inimitable elegance,
Jean Cocteau created a body of work that is considered today to be of great importance. The Roche Bobois collection reminds us of the strength and contemporaneity of his work. Thanks to these magnificent decorative objects, Jean Cocteau’s epitaph “I stay with you” is truer than ever.




The various objects demonstrate the extraordinarily expressive range of one of France’s most distinctive artists of the 20th century and Roche Bobois has given these works a new lease of life and brought Jean Cocteau once again to the attention of the world.




When Jean Cocteau worked on a fresco or ceramic, he spoke of tattooing walls or clay. Roche Bobois has approached the creative development of this new collection, composed mainly of textile accessories, in similar spirit. Using print, embroidery and a mix of techniques, the makers of this new collection have managed to capture the distinctive spontaneity of Cocteau’s original drawings and manuscripts.
 The designs represent a direct continuation of the work of an artist who had explored the area of decoration himself, as seen in his ceramics and the frescoes of Villa Santo Sospir аt Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.


“I’m neither designer nor painter; my designs are writings untangled then re-tangled differently.” Jean Cocteau.




Referencing these pictorial and poetic designs within textiles seems like a natural progression. The extent of the collection’s range allows for a harmonious scale and Cocteau’s sketches and drawings lend themselves perfectly to the patterns that adorn these expertly woven rugs and embroidered cushions. A charming assortment of faces in silhouette, colours and words distil the essence of the poet’s artistic and convivial spirit.















_PETITS_VISAGES_JEAN_COCTEAU_white_cushion















A hint is even made to the artist’s indiscretions via the motifs on the bed linen inspired by his intimate sketches of people sleeping.






“… Picasso told me that once I’d put clay in a kiln, I’d be lost to it forever. The thing is, I’ve always had a taste for losing myself with delight.”

Executed between 1957 and 1963 by the Madeline-Jolly pottery workshop in Ville Franche-sur-Mer, Cocteau’s ceramics develop themes dear to him. Cocteau described their ornamentation as a form of tattoo and developed novel techniques, such as using an oxide pencil, for applying his markings.

Roche Bobois turned to one of the few potters capable of faithfully reproducing the pieces of the original edition. One of them sourced the same colours of clay, used precisely the same quantities of engobe and enamel and employed the same traditional methods of glazing and firing. The one difference is that he applied some details prior to firing, rather than after, for the purposes of preservation. The reissue of these ceramics are presented as a limited and numbered series, as befits a collection that can truly be described as ‘artworks.














 
















And last but not least, A-Gent of Style’s favourite items: the lacquer trays, square with «Face and profile» or rounded with ‘Wing’.
The square, taupe one for A-Gent please.








 





DOMINO IS BACK



 


Four years ago, our most cherished airy-fairy world of design was shattered by the parting of the brilliant American magazine Domino, which left some of us bereft.
But like the phoenix rising from its ashes, Domino is now back, this time led by Editor-in-Chief Michelle Adams who recently left the online Lonny magazine, which she founded a few years ago. Domino is even more resplendent and invigorating than its predecessor with its daily fix of design inpiration and sourcing. There are new exciting features, one of them being that you can purchase almost anything you see in the magazine. So that’s A-Gent of Style’s Christmas Gift List officially open.

Welcome back Domino, you’ve been missed!

You can purchase the first edition of the quaterly magazine here. Happy browsing!



























BOOK END No6



 

Another month ends, another one starts, another ‘Book End’.

All books are available or can be ordered from
 The Bookshop at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour +44 (0) 20 7351 6854 / @blaisemille

Happy reading!


And if you’ve missed the previous instalments of Book End, you can catch up and see the other fantastic books A-Gent of Style selected for you here:

Book End No1, Book End No2, Book End N03, Book End N04, Book End No5 


© Copyright agentofstyle - Designed by Dentdelion