Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf (1738-1815) et l’industrie des toiles peintes en France : l’impact du protestantisme sur son parcours et la création

This article seeks to highlight the career of Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, the founder of the toile de Jouy-factory and arguably one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of his time, in time for the bicentennial anniversary of his death (4 October 1815). Oberkampf arrived in France in 1758 as a young indienne textile manufacturer, without speaking a word of French, but soon transformed his small workshop in the Bièvre Valley not far from Versailles into one of the largest factories of Europe. While prefiguring major industrial Protestant dynasties of the nineteenth century, Oberkampf still managed to master every aspect—technical, chemical, and artistic—of the production of printed cotton textile. Protestantism played a significant role throughout his life which cannot be dissociated from his economic rise, even inspiring him to create a toile celebrating the 1787 Edit of Toleration.