The Toilette of Psyche from The Story of Psyche tapestry series

Object Details


The Toilette of Psyche from The Story of Psyche tapestry series


After design by François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)
woven under the direction of Nicolas Besnier (French, 1714 - 1754)
and Jean-Baptiste Oudry (French, 1686 - 1755)
Beauvais Manufactory (French, founded 1664)




Beauvais, France (Place created)


1741 to 1742


Wool and silk; modern cotton lining


335.3 × 266.7 cm (132 × 105 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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Beside a fountain on an outdoor stone terrace, Psyche is groomed by her attendants. Two maids stand behind Psyche and dress her hair. A large mirror reflects her face and one of her attendants. To the left of the mirror, an attendant appears transfixed by Psyche's beauty; another displays a length of pink silk fabric. At the right edge, a seated attendant sorts flowers and converses with a maid who carries powder and perfume on a silver tray. Psyche is probably being prepared for her first night with her new husband, Cupid.

Nicolas Besnier, a silversmith and co-director of the Beauvais manufactory, probably advised Boucher on the trio of elaborate silver objects in the foreground--a large pitcher, basin, and tray.

Jean-Baptiste Oudry also assisted with this tapestry.

1743 - 1765

Woven for Guillaume Castanier d'Auriac, French, 1702 - 1765, as one of three tapestries delivered by the Beauvais Manufactory in 1743.

before 1793

Possibly Jules Charles Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, French, 1720 - 1794, as one of three tapestries.

before 1876

Anthony Nathan de Rothschild, first Bart., English, 1810 - 1876 (London, England), as one of three tapestries.

- 1931

Henry Walters, American, 1848 - 1931 (Baltimore, Maryland)

1931 - 1941

Mrs. Sara (Green) Walters [sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 26, 1941, lot 739.]


French and Company, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1941.

1941 - 1963

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1963.

Casting Nature: François-Thomas Germain's Machine d'Argent (July 11, 2006 to March 25, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 11, 2006 to March 25, 2007

Badin, Jules. La manufacture de tapisseries de Beauvais depuis ses origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris: Société de propagation des livres d'art, 1909), p. 60.

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Wescher, Paul. "French Furniture of the Eighteenth Century in the J. Paul Getty Museum." Art Quarterly 18, no. 2 (Summer 1955), p. 132.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965), p. 151, ill.

Jones, Anne Marion. A Handbook of the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965), p. 14, no. A-15.

Jarry, Madeleine. "A Wealth of Boucher Tapestries in American Museums." Antiques (August 1972), pp. 222-32.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 168.

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum: 6ème partie: Les Meubles Baroques.'" Connaissance des Arts 279 (May 1975), pp. 106-07.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 102, no. 217.

Jackson-Stops, Gervase. "Boulle by the Beach: Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum." Country Life 179, no. 4624 (April 3, 1986), pp. 854-56, fig. 1.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 173, no. 294.

Forti-Grazzini, Nello. Il patrimonio artistico del Quirinale: Gli Arazzi (Rome: Editoriale Lavora and Gruppo BNL, 1994), vol. 2, pp. 492-511, nos. 170-73.

Scott, Katie. The Rococo Interior, Decoration and Social Spaces in Early Eighteenth Century Paris (New Haven, 1995), p. 25.

Bremer-David, Charissa. French Tapestries and Textiles in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 106-19, no. 11.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 152, no. 303.