Tapestry: Don Quichotte guéri de sa folie par la sagesse, from L'Histoire de don Quichotte Series

Object Details


Tapestry: Don Quichotte guéri de sa folie par la sagesse, from L'Histoire de don Quichotte Series


Woven at the Royal Factory of Furniture to the Crown at the Gobelins Manufactory (French, founded 1662 - present)
under the direction of Michel Audran (French, 1701 - 1771)
and his son Jean Audran fils (French, died 1794, active Gobelin Manufactory 1771 - 1794)
after the painting by Charles-Antoine Coypel (French, 1694 - 1752)
the alentours were designed in collaboration by Claude Audran III (French, before 1658 - 1734)
Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay fils (French, 1668 - 1730)
Alexandre-François Desportes (French, 1661 - 1743)
and Valande




Gobelins, France (Place created)




Silk and wool


370.8 × 386.1 cm (146 × 152 in.)

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The tapestry designer based his depiction of an episode from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's enormously popular romance, The Story of Don Quixote, on a painting by Charles-Antoine Coypel. He placed Don Quixote and his companion Sancho in a room furnished with a bed and two chairs. Don Quixote sleeps in one of the chairs, dreaming of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, who approaches in a cloud with her left arm extended to dispel his madness. Sancho, standing next to his master, gazes in a trance at the figure of Folly, who carries in her right hand a model of a castle and in her left a pole with a fool's cap.

Around the central scene, the tapestry also features an elaborate surrounding decoration known as the alentours. Amid the garlands of flowers and fruit, a monkey plays on each side. The monkey on the right dangles a long lance in the direction of the three sheep below, who scatter. In the opposite corner amid a pile of books, a spotted spaniel points at the other monkey above. The tapestry's title is woven in yellow thread in the bottom center.

The surrounds for this tapestry were designed by Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay, fils, Claude Audran III, Alexandre François Desportes, and Maurice Jacques. It was woven in Michel Audran's workshop, assisted by his son, Jean Audran, fils.

The Story of Don Quixote by Charles-Antoine Coypel, Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries (February 25 to May 17, 2015) (28)
  • The Frick Collection (New York), February 24 to May 17, 2015