In 1690 Louis XIV, then in financial straits, closed the Gobelins factory. The factory at Beauvais, however, continued under his patronage and, with Philippe Behagle of Tournai as director and Jean Bérain as designer, its production took an upward turn. When the Gobelins factory reopened between 1694 and 1699 it had to follow the fashion of Beauvais and order cartoons from Audran, Blain de Fontenay, and Perrot, in a style quite different from its earlier work.
118-120. PANELS FROM THE ARABESQUES OF THE MONTHS. The Louvre, Paris
These three pieces were designed by Noël Coypel to complete the series of twelve Arabesques of the Months which had been woven at the Gobelins in 1687 and 1688 after tapestries made in Brussels in the sixteenth century. The panels designed by Coypel were planned as decorations for a niche in the Cabinet of the King at the Trianon; for this reason the Apollo hanging (no. 118) was given a rounded top.
118. APOLLO. Wool and silk. 9 feet 2 inches × 6 feet 7 inches
Apollo stands in the center of a pergola with a bow in his hand. Two scenes from the story of Phaëthon are shown in medallions in the elaborate arabesque borders.
This panel was woven on the low-warp loom in the atelier of Dominique de la Croix in 1696-1697.
119. SPRING AND SUMMER. Wool and silk. 9 feet 10 inches × 3 feet 7 inches
In the middle of arabesques are two medallions, the upper one showing Flora with a cupid; the lower one Ceres, also with a cupid. In a small cartouche at the bottom is a reclining divinity.
This panel was woven on the low-warp loom in the atelier of Jean de la Fraye in 1696-1697.
120. AUTUMN AND WINTER. Wool and silk. 9 feet 10 inches × 3 feet 7 inches