Tapestry: The Abandonment of Psyche

Object Details


Tapestry: The Abandonment of Psyche


After design by François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)
and 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 - 1742


Silk and wool; modern cotton lining


377.8 × 282.2 cm (148 3/4 × 111 1/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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With arms outstretched, a despairing Psyche gazes upward at the departing figure of Cupid, who arches his back in flight against gray clouds. A trio of naiads, or water nymphs, witness the event, their eyes following Cupid's aerial departure. As Cupid leaves Psyche, she finds herself in a remote and stony wilderness, its lack of hospitality tempered only by the source of a spring whose cascading water becomes a stream.

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

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

before 1932

Edward Marriott Hodgkins, 1860 - 1932 (Paris, France)


French and Company, Inc. (New York City, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1937.

1937 - 1963

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


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.

Getty, J. Paul. Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Priv. Print: 1949), ill. unnumbered pl. between pp. 66-67.

Getty, J. Paul, and Ethel Le Vane. Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe (London: W. H. Allen, 1955), pp. 64-65.

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

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-17.

Jarry, Madeleine. "A Wealth of Boucher Tapestries in American Museums." Antiques (August 1972), pp. 222-31.

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), pp. 168-69.

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum: 6ème partie: Les Meubles Baroques.'" Connaissance des Arts 279 (May 1975), p. 107.

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. 103, no. 220.

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. 174, no. 297.

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.

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. 304.