Ladies in Blue Fresco, Émile Gilliéron, Fils, Rectangular Pillow
This 20 x 12 inch pillow is made from fabric custom-printed on both sides with the Ladies in Blue Fresco, from the Palace of Minos in Crete, circa 1325-1250 BC, reconstructed as painted plaster in 1927 by Émile Gilliéron, fils.
To make the pillow, the design is printed onto special paper, and then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure. This sublimation process creates a soft, breathable, vibrantly colored material – the pattern becomes part of the fabric, it doesn’t just sit on top of it.
The fabric is pre-shrunk polyester — soft and durable, with a moisture-resistant coating. The pillowcase is machine washable, with a concealed zipper. The resilient polyester filling insert retains its shape, and can be washed by hand. Made in USA.
Émile Gilliéron, fils
Émile Gilliéron, père, and Émile Gilliéron, fils, worked together for decades making reconstructions at the Palace of Minos. The father originally reconstructed this fresco on pretty flimsy evidence, using fragments of other frescos from the palace, and the son later enhanced it.
You can see laid atop this reconstruction the few fragments of original fresco, and what the Gilliérons made of it using reference to other fragments and their imaginations.
The Gilliérons created watercolors and reproductions of masks and weapons to sell, as well as full-size copies of Minoan frescos on watercolor paper and 3-d plaster reconstructions. They perfected molds, using multiple damaged molds to create one good one, and at one point they had a catalog with 144 items a company in Germany could make for customers.
Their work has been criticized as inauthentic – they may have added a modern border to a reconstruction, for instance, or depicted a boy instead of a monkey. There’s some talk that the Gillierons were also involved in forgery, possibly were even creators of the well-known Phaistos Disc.
Visit the original pixels of the Gilliérons' Ladies in Blue reconstruction at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.