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This exhibition explores French wedding traditions and their evolution

A show on the French wedding rituals and how they have evolved over the years, is going to be exhibited in Delhi.

art and culture Updated: Feb 22, 2017 07:45 IST
Henna Rakheja

A photograph from a French wedding, as it used to be in old times.

Have you ever heard about newlyweds drinking from a chamber pot? Well, it’s one of the traditions associated with French weddings called Le Pot de chambre. This and many other traditions associated with French weddings and their evolution from the 16th century to the present day, will be showcased at the upcoming exhibition, Mariages À La Francaise — Shifts In A Cultural Grammar.

A picture of a couple where the bride swings as the groom looks on.

“When I started looking at Indian wedding invitations, it struck me that there’s a whole lot of production around weddings even in France. I, then started researching on the traditions that existed in 16th and 18th century royal weddings and how they have evolved over the years,” says Arundhati Virmani, curator of the show, who currently teaches at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Marseille

She has handpicked the exhibits from people’s private collections and museums.

An advertisement for a French product, shows a scene of a wedding parade during spring.

“There’s a wedding dress from 1950s, a chamber pot and plates used for wedding party, which will all be a part of the show,” she says. “There used to be glass domes to keep the crown of flowers that the French brides used to wear. Even the cake used to be a traditional 3-tier. But today, it has all become a modern fancy — with even the venue for weddings changing from churches to the town halls,” adds Virmani.

A plate from the antique porcelaine sets used for a wedding on the countryside theme, produced at Gien — a town on the Loire river, known for its porcelain dinnerware. These were produced in 1875.

Besides wedding invites, the show will feature menus of the wedding feast. Also, antique porcelain set of wedding plates, which were produced in 1875. Two illustrated lectures on the public and private history of French weddings and the princely weddings at the French Court will also be part of the show.

  • What: Mariages À La Française – Shifts In A Cultural Grammar
  • Where: India International Centre, Lodhi Estate
  • When: February 22 to 28
  • Timings: 11am to 7pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line