Folding fan with a view of the Pont Neuf

c. 1755–1760
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General Description

Wendy and Emery Reves's fan collection was one of their most distinguished areas of collecting and was of particular interest to Wendy Reves. She collected nearly 110 examples dating from the early 18th to the early 20th century. The more than thirty fans now in the Dallas Museum of Art's collection represent the core of her 18th-century holdings.

This fan is especially interesting for its elaborate depiction of city life. The background is a view of a great European capital. Cleverly fitted to the curved format, a bridge bustling with activity arches across the foreground. On the left is an apple seller. Next to her is a figure who points to a banner while addressing the public. This scene, together with the uniformed officer on horseback at the far right, may depict military recruitment or opposing political factions. The setting is further enlivened with coaches and cabriolets, along with various vendors, pedestrians, and soldiers.

The sticks feature painted vases of flowers and a courting couple in low relief. The rivet holding the sticks together is set with a paste jewel. The ivory guards are carved with flowers, birds, a girl, and a boy. On the leaf's verso is a view of a funerary monument with three figures strolling nearby.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 25 and 40.

Web Resources

Dallas Museum of Art
Read more about the 2007 DMA exhibition A Painting in the Palm of Your Hand.

Fan Association of North America
Watch a demonstration of the language of fans at the 30th Assemblage of the Fan Association of North America.