By Klaus H. Carl

Qu'y-a-t-il de plus banal qu'une paire de chaussures ? Pourtant, aujourd'hui encore, los angeles moitié de l'humanité n'en connaît pas l'usage. Dans un monde où l. a. chaussure est devenue un objet de consommation, remark oublier que nos arrière-grands-parents l'utilisaient pour les cérémonies et autres events exceptionnelles. L'industrie a accompli son devoir : produire en grande quantité à des prix plus abordables. Mais il fut un temps où los angeles chaussure symbolisait los angeles strength des légions romaines, los angeles puissance des seigneurs du Moyen Âge européen ou encore l'oppression des femmes chinoises. C'est une histoire longue et passionnante que l'auteur Marie-Josèphe Bossan, conservateur du Musée foreign de los angeles Chaussure de Romans, conte avec rigueur et expertise. Appuyant son examine sur une iconographie choisie avec méthode, l'auteur donne à ces objets de tous les jours, des lettres de noblesse qui nous interpellent sur les modes et les valeurs de nos civilisations.

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Si la forme est parfois plus fonctionnelle qu’esthétique – mais non pas toujours et il y aurait lieu d’expliquer tant de formes aberrantes – les dessins des étoffes, Soulier de femme Italie, XVIIe siècle Musée international de la Chaussure, Romans 32 33 les broderies, les incrustations, le choix des couleurs relèvent toujours étroitement de l’art caractéristique des pays où elle a été fabriquée. Son intérêt primordial vient de ce qu’elle n’est pas, comme les armes ou comme les instruments de musique, réservée à une caste, à un groupe social déterminé, Botte de mousquetaire France, XVIIe siècle Musée international de la Chaussure, Romans 34 35 qu’elle n’est pas, comme le tapis, le produit d’une ou deux civilisations seulement, qu’elle ne relève pas comme un objet « somptueux » de la classe riche, comme un objet « folklorique » de la classe pauvre.

Mules de femme France, vers 1789 Musée international de la Chaussure, Romans (collection Guillen) 50 51 Celles des dieux sont en or. Agamemnon, roi légendaire de Mycènes, protège ses jambes à l’aide de cnémides (jambières de bronze) retenues par des agrafes d’argent. Rome, héritière directe de la civilisation grecque, subit son influence. Aussi, les chaussures romaines diffèrent-elles peu des chaussures grecques. Chaussure de Marie-Antoinette Recueillie le 10 août 1792 Musée Carnavalet, Paris 52 53 La civilisation byzantine s’étend du Ve au XVe siècle.

Ces chaussures, à l’état d’ébauche, n’ont alors sans doute qu’une fonction utilitaire Le choix de la matière était largement déterminé par la capacité des matériaux utilisés à protéger les pieds contre la rudesse des conditions. Soulier de femme avec sa galoche de protection France, époque Louis XIV, XVIIe siècle Musée international de la Chaussure, Romans (dépôt du Musée national du Moyen Âge, Thermes de Cluny, Paris) 38 39 Ce n’est qu’à partir de l’Antiquité que la chaussure s’enrichira d’une dimension esthétique et ornementale, devenant ainsi un véritable révélateur de l’ordre social.

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