Le Chat four-panel screen by Joy de Rohan Chabot

Joy de Rohan Chabot

Joy’s work transports us to her ‘other universe’ of a natural world more poetical and fantastical than the one most of us usually inhabit, an enchanted forest of her own devising. No wonder her romantic vision seduces collectors from all over the world, including Australia, USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Dubai and of course Europe.

Joy’s great friend and collector of her work, the actress Marisa Berenson, says: “Joy is like a romantic, beautiful fairy – there is a light and a lightness within her that transmits itself to her work. People might try to copy what she does, but they can never succeed because nobody can copy the magic that comes from her putting her heart and soul into everything she does. In her work, she creates an entire world of her own – the fairyland of which little girls dream”.

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Born into French aristocracy, Joy de Rohan Chabot’s family were initially unenthusiastic about her artistic prowess. However, aged twelve, it was agreed she could study in Paris, where she later attended the renowned L’École des Arts Décoratifs on rue Beethoven where she flourished.

Having mastered lacquering and then gilding, she turned her attention to wood-carving, welding and the casting of bronze, metamorphosing slowly from painter to sculptor.

In 1976, she acquired an invitation to visit China – then every much a closed country – to learn about the traditional skill of lacquering. This led to a fifteen-year commission from Régine Zylberberg, owner of the eponymous Régine night-clubs, to decorate night-clubs from San Paolo and Santiago to New York, Paris and London with exuberant murals of jungle scenes and other exotica.

In 1999, her first solo show, ‘La Maison des Illusions’ at the Orangerie de Bagatelle in Paris was a sell-out: a celebration of trompe l’oeil both through her own work and the collaborations she engendered with textile designers, carpet makers and china manufacturers. That in turn led to her first furniture collections, first for Jansen, the legendary Parisian decorating firm, and then for Lanvin. She subsequently held a show of her painted glassware, which was a sell-out and led to Dior commissioning her to paint seven hundred plates for the wedding of Delphine Arnault. Joy has also created a series of specially decorated champagne flutes for the Claude Monet Foundation at Giverny. In 2008, she was given a solo show at the Musée Jacquemart-Andreé in Paris, the first of a living artist, which celebrated her twin passions of nature and the decorative arts.

Joy de Rohan Chabot