A Handbook to the Loan Exhibition of French Tapestries: Mediaeval, Renaissance and Modern, from the Public and Private Collections of France

By Metropolitan Museum Of Art | Go to book overview

THE FIRST HALF OF THE XVII CENTURY

In order to revive the art of tapestry-making, in the early years of the seventeenth century Henry IV ( 1589- 1610) brought Flemish weavers to France and put them to work in ateliers in Paris or sent them to provincial towns. Tapestries were woven in the Parisian ateliers of the Faubourg Saint Marcel, the Faubourg Saint Germain, and the Galeries du Louvre during the first half of the seventeenth century. In the Louvre they were made after the designs of the painter Simon Vouet, who had been recalled from Rome in 1627 to assist in this enterprise.

93, 94. TWO TAPESTRIES FROM THE STORY OF ARTEMESIA

Artemesia, Queen of Caria and widow of King Mausolus, was considered to be a classical prototype of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France and widow of Henry II ( 1547- 1559). The series of hangings called the Story of Artemesia is based on a narrative by Nicolas Houel, a Parisian apothecary, written in Catherine's honor in 1562. The designs are the work of Antoine Caron and Henri Lerambert; almost all are preserved in the Cabinet des Estampes and the Louvre in Paris and in the National Library in Madrid.

No sixteenth-century tapestries of the Story of Artemesia survive. The tapestries from this series that are included in the exhibition were woven in the atelier of the Faubourg Saint Marcel in Paris in the first half of the seventeenth century. An inventory of 1627 shows that there were then seventy-eight pieces from the series either finished or in the course of production--striking evidence of the popularity of the designs.

93. HERALDS ON HORSEBACK. Mobilier National, Paris

Wool and silk. 13 feet 2 inches × 11 feet 5 inches

Heralds are announcing an assembly of the states of the kingdom of Caria. One of them wears a Polish bonnet, which recalls the fact that Henry III ( 1574- 1589), the son of Catherine de' Medici, was made King of Poland in 1573. The mark of FranÇois de la Planche, a Flemish weaver whom Henry IV had installed in Paris, appears in the selvage.

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A Handbook to the Loan Exhibition of French Tapestries: Mediaeval, Renaissance and Modern, from the Public and Private Collections of France
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Message from France ii
  • Preface iii
  • Introduction v
  • Paris, XIV Century 1
  • Arras, XV Century 6
  • Various French Ateliers XV Century 9
  • Works Ascribed to Ateliers of the Loire, About 1500 15
  • The XVI Century 21
  • The First Half of the XVII Century 25
  • The Gobelins Factory 1650-1700 28
  • The Beauvais and Gobelins Factories, About 1700 34
  • The XVIII Century 37
  • Modern Tapestries 41
  • General Bibliography 48
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