Tapestry: Bacchus et Arianne, Bacchus changé en raisin

Object Details

Title:

Tapestry: Bacchus et Arianne, Bacchus changé en raisin

Artist/Maker(s):

Woven after cartoons by François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)

under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Oudry (French, 1686 - 1755)

and Nicolas Besnier (French, 1714 - 1754)

or André Charlemagne Charron (French, active 1754 - 1780)

Beauvais Manufactory (French, founded 1664)

Culture:

French

Date:

1748 - 1770

Medium:

Wool and silk; linen interface and cotton lining

Dimensions:

360.7 x 764 cm (142 x 300 13/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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This double-subject tapestry, woven to represent a painting with a gilt wood frame decorated with shell motifs, combines two subjects that were also woven individually. Each story comes from classical myths about the loves of the gods recorded in Ovid's Metamorphoses and other ancient sources. On the left, Bacchus consoles Ariadne after her abandonment by Theseus, whose ship sails away in the distance. On the right, Bacchus transforms himself into a bunch of grapes in order to seduce Erigone. Unwittingly, she accepts a basket of fruit containing the grapes from a servant.

"The Loves of the Gods" was the fourth of nine tapestry series designed by the painter François Boucher for the Beauvais manufactory. His drawings, known as cartoons, guided the weavers on the looms. Working simultaneously on such tapestries, a number of weavers would take a year to complete three square yards (two and a half square meters) a year. A tapestry of this size would take over three years to complete.

Provenance

Possibly one of a set commissioned by King Louis XV of France, French, 1710 - 1774, and delivered to the Département des Affaires Etrangères.

Possibly in the collection of the Royal Family of Portugal

Jules Porgès, 1839 - 1921 (Portugal; later Paris, France)

by 1925 -

C. Ledyard Blair (New Jersey)

1937

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.

Bibliography

Getty, J. Paul. Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Santa Monica, Calif., 1949), ill. opposite p. 66.

Wescher, Paul. "French Furniture of the Eighteenth Century in the J. Paul Getty Museum." Art Quarterly 18, no. 2 (Summer 1955), p. 132, note 1.

"Vingt Mille Lieues dans les musées." Connaissance des arts no. 57 (November 1956), pp. 76-81.

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. 170-71.

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. 216.

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), pp. 171-72, no. 291.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 154-55, no. 307.