“Emmanuelle” Rattan Armchair, 20th century, France
The majestic rattan armchair that appeared in the film “Emmanuelle” in June 1974 has become a film legend. This mythical armchair marks the advent of a new eroticism. It was the day after May 1968, a time of both feminist affirmation and moral liberation. The art of cinema participates in this new freedom, notably thanks to Just Jaeckin’s film which becomes the reference of the 7th erotic art. This film gave an international notoriety and a name in the art of erotic cinema to the actress Sylvia Kristel. But Emmanuelle’s fame owes much to this large rattan armchair, which appears on most of the posters and photographs from the film. It is in this perspective that the chair itself takes on a whole new dimension. It becomes both an archetype of eroticism and the symbol of an assumed feminine sensuality because freed from the shackles.
This “Emmanuelle” rattan armchair belonged to Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. These two actors are film icons of the 20th century. Married in 1951, they form one of the most famous couples in French cinema.