Paule Marrot en 1946, travaillant á l'esquisse du tissu Cubana. Photo D.R.
Madame Marrot was the quintessential French textile artist. A painter, engraver, teacher, and ultimately an esteemed fabric designer, she met and was influenced by Impressionist master Auguste Renoir and Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy. She was admired by many famous personalities including the Ali Khan, the Shah of Iran, the British royal family, Billy Baldwin, Margaret Owen, and Jacqueline Kennedy who based the interior of an entire room of the White House on one of Marrot’s spirited flower designs. In the world of interior decoration, Marrot’s fresh, colorful, spontaneous designs have always been synonymous with a wonderful sense of joie de vivre.

Born in Bordeaux to a bohemian family headed by a musician father, Paule Marrot was first exposed to the creative world of artists and musicians at her family’s salon gatherings. Her career as a decorative artist began at age 14 when she studied to be a painter and an engraver at the Studios of Sacred Art, founded by painter Maurice Denis. She then became a teacher and commenced to sell some of her original textile designs at which time she met Dufy who introduced her to Paul Poiret to whom she sold a dress design.

Marrot was barely making a living hand-printing her fabrics in her parent’s dining room, when at age 22 she was admitted to the prestigious Societe des Artistes Decorateurs in 1924. In this year she married her childhood friend, Paul Angelloz, who became her business manager. In 1925 she won a gold medal at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes Paris, France.

With a grant, Marrot was able to buy herself a modest shop where she taught, painted, sold her creations and entertained her many artist friends. In 1932 her life took a dramatic turn when her work in the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs show came to the attention of Alsace textile manufacturer, Jean Schlumberger. He became her private printer and devoted friend for 30 years until his death in 1963. Their successful collaboration produced more than 320 designs for fabrics and dozens more for table linens. In the following years, Marrot enjoyed substantial success in the United States with her coterie of celebrity clients and interior design devotees.

“You paint with your heart the flowers of the fields, love, youth, the seasons, everything that is wonderful in life,” Andre Arbus said to Paule Marrot when the designer was awarded the Legion d’Honneur. All her fabric and wallpaper designs had charming stories to tell and revealed her love of nature, art, travel, birds, gardens, animals and people. Marrot made a unique contribution to the world of 20th Century textile design that still resonates today and which DelGreco Textiles honors in its exclusive Paule Marrot Collection.