The Ochres of Provence in Paint & Fabrics

October 21, 2015
Not far from the lovely city of Avignon is the small village of Rousillon, the centre of the provencal ochres. In ancient times the sea once covered this region, as the sea dried over millions of years, rain slowly transformed the limestones into sand rich in colourful ochres.

Colourful houses
The houses in the village of Roussillon, near Avignon.
Ochre cliffs
The ochre rich cliffs near Roussillon.

 

Paint shop
In the village of Roussillon you can now buy some of these wonderful ochres, mix with paint, and bring Provence into your home!
Paint pots
There is something so fascinating about working with and seeing the original earth pigments that are the basis for most paints. We seem to easily forget that most of the colours around us and in art can be found under our very own feet.
Sewing machine and fabric
Provencal Indienne fabrics being sewn for your table by our very own French seamstress….
Roman mural
A Roman mural where ground ochres turn a flat wall into an architectural frieze; from a ground earth pigment to art.
Not far from the lovely city of Avignon is the small village of Rousillon, the centre of the provencal ochres. In ancient times the sea once covered this region, as the sea dried over millions of years, rain slowly transformed the limestones into sand rich in colourful ochres.
The early cave dwellers used it to paint the early human art found in the caves of the surrounding region. There is something in the warmth of ochre and all its shades that appeals immediately to us all. The ochre colours recall the safety and comfort of a fire, the beauty of a sunset, the glow of a flame or the light inside a home. So, it is little wonder, that ochre was one of the first colours used in wall decor by the Romans.
The houses in Roussillon are all painted in shades of colours that come from the surrounding ochres that are found and mixed with lime. They are washed and with time age beautifully, thanks to the sun and rain, blending and contrasting with the surroundings.
Many of the fabrics and pottery from the South of France reflect these warm colours. In the nineteenth century, travellers brought back from India the lovely printing blocks with decorative motifs that were repeated all over the cloth. Combined with the rich colours of Provence, the “Provencal Indienne” were born, Indian inspired French provincial fabrics. Mostly used to  dress dining tables and curtains, these colourful fabrics are making a comeback.
And, as I am writing this, we are busy sewing these fabrics into table cloths for our new shop in Double Bay, Sydney. We will be opening up in a few days, so pay us a visit and maybe think about brightening up your Christmas table this year with some warm provincial colours.
Happy decorating with Provencal warm colours!
For more information and tips visit our website at: www.christopheliving.com.au

For more updates on the shop follow us on Instagram @ChristopheLiving or Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ChristopheLiving

– Jean-Christophe
Jean-Christophe Burckhardt

Jean-Christophe Burckhardt

An expert on interior design, craftsmanship and fine arts, Jean-Christophe has trained extensively in Italy, France and Switzerland. Since moving to Australia, he has supplied many of the country’s grand homes and collected a number of awards for his furniture designs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *