Tapestry: Les Astronomes, from L'Histoire de l'empereur de la Chine Series

Object Details

Title:

Tapestry: Les Astronomes, from L'Histoire de l'empereur de la Chine Series

Artist/Maker:

Beauvais Manufactory (French, founded 1664)
Woven under the direction of Philippe Béhagle (French, 1641 - 1705)
After cartoons by Guy-Louis Vernansal (French, 1648 - 1729)
and Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 1636 - 1699)
and Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay (French, 1653 - 1715)

Culture:

French

Place:

Beauvais, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1697 - 1705

Medium:

Wool and silk; modern cotton lining

Dimensions:

318.8 × 424.2 cm (125 1/2 × 167 in.)

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In a tapestry from the set known as The Story of the Emperor of China series, European and Chinese figures assemble on a stone terrace around an elaborately mounted globe. In the center of the group stands the Chinese emperor, wearing the imperial insignia of the winged dragon and gesturing with one hand while the other rests possessively on the globe. The bearded man taking a measurement on the globe with a pair of compasses is the German Jesuit priest Father Schall von Bell, who attained a high rank in the Qing court through his knowledge of Western astronomy. He headed the Imperial Astronomical Bureau and developed a close personal relationship with the emperor, based on a shared interest in mathematics and astronomy.

The large globe, telescope, and the ecliptic armillary sphere on the dragon-shaped base represent actual objects made by the Chinese after European designs. The originals survive today in the observatory in Beijing.

Provenance
by 1705 - 1737

Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse and duc de Penthièvre, French, 1678 - 1737 (at the Château de Rambouillet by 1718), by inheritance to his son, Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon, 1737.

1737 - 1793

Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre, French, 1725 - 1793, by inheritance to his daughter, Louise-Marie-Adélaïde de Bourbon, 1793.

1793 - 1821

Louise-Marie-Adélaïde de Bourbon, French, 1753 - 1821, by inheritance to her son, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, 1821.

1821 - 1852

Louis-Philippe d' Orléans, King of the French, 1773 - 1850 [sold, Domaine de Monceaux, January 28, 1852, lot 8, as one of six tapestries to Armand Géraud Victurnien Jacques Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès]

1852 - 1872

Armand Géraud Victurnien Jacques Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, French, 1808 - 1872 (Château de Bonnelles, Seine-et-Oise), by inheritance to his son, Amable Antoine Jacques Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, 1872.

1872 - 1878

Amable Antoine Jacques Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, French, 1840-1878 (Château de Bonnelles, Seine-et-Oise), by inheritance to his son, Jacques Marie Géraud de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, 1878.

1878 - 1893

Jacques Marie Géraud de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, French, 1868-1893 (Château de Bonnelles, Seine-et-Oise), by inheritance to his brother, Louis Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, and Thérèse d'Albert-Luynes d'Uzès, duchesse d'Uzès, 1893.

1893 - 1925

Louis Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzès, French, 1871-1943 (Château de Bonnelles, Seine-et-Oise)

-

and Thérèse d'Albert-Luynes d'Uzès, 1876 - 1941 (Château de Bonnelles, Seine-et-Oise), sold to Georges Haardt and Company, 1925.

1925 -

Georges Haardt and Company (New York City, New York)

-

French and Company, Inc. (New York City, New York), stock nos. 27965-2 through 27965-6.

- 1930

John Thompson Dorrance, Sr., American, 1873-1930 (Newport, Rhode Island), by inheritance to John Thompson Dorrance, Jr., 1930.

1930 - 1983

John Thompson Dorrance, Jr., American, 1919 - 1989, sold to Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc, 1983.

- 1983

Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York City, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Imagining the Orient (October 5, 2004 to April 3, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 5, 2004 to April 3, 2005
Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016
Bibliography

Montié and de Dion. "Quelque documents sur le Duchépairie de Rambouillet." Mémoirs et documents publiés par la Société archéologique de Rambouillet 7 (1886) pp. 208, 227.

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. 13.

Hunter, George L. The Practical Book of Tapestries (Philadelphia, 1925) p. 162.

A Private Exhibition of Beauvais Tapestries, exh. cat. (New York: Georges Haardt and Co., Inc., 1926)

Szokolny, Dr. "Vom amerikamischen Kunstmarket." Cicerone 18 (1926) pp. 271-72.

Jarry, Madeleine. "Chinoiseries à la mode de Beauvais." Plaisir de France 429 (May 1975) pp. 54-59.

Standen, Edith A. "The Story of the Emperor of China: A Beauvais Tapestry Series." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal 12 (1976) pp. 103-17.

Jarry, Madeleine. "La vision de la Chine dans les tapisseries de la manufacture royale de Beauvais: les premières tentures chinoises." Les Rapports entre la Chine et l'Europe au temps des lumières: actes du IIe colloque international de sinologie 1977 (Paris 1980), pp. 173-83.

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984) pp. 261-62, no. 3.

"Some Acquisitions (1983-84) in the Department of Decorative Arts, The J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine 975 (June 1984) p. 385.

Bremer-David, Charissa. "Set of Five Tapestries, Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984) pp. 173-81.

Standen, Edith A. European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2 vols. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985) vol. 2, pp. 461-68.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986) pp. 99-100, no. 213.

Boccara, Jacqueline. Ames de Laine et de Soie (Saint-Just-en-Chausée, 1988) p. 306.

Boccara, Jacqueline. "Voyages du grand siècle: tapisseries de Beauvais, de Bruxelles et de Gobelins." Les Antiquaires au Grand-Palais: XIVe biennale internationale (Paris, 1988) pp. 112-18.

Coural, J., and C. Gastinel-Coural. Beauvais: Manufacture nationale de tapisserie (Paris, 1992) p. 24.

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. 167-68, no. 286.

Golvers, Noel. The Astronomia Europaea of Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J. (Dillingen, 1687), vol. 27 of Monumenta Serica Monograph Series (Nettetal, 1993) p. 9, reproduced in reverse p. 453.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 190.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 60, no. 44.

Bremer-David, Charissa. French Tapestries and Textiles in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) pp. 80-97, no. 9.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001) p. 190, ill.

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. 146-48, no. 296.

Jolly, Anna. Seidengewebe des 18. Jahrhunderts II Naturalismus (Riggisberg, 2002) p. 25 and note 98, (repeated in the English summary, p. 377 and note 98).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) p. 213, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) p. 376 (app. no. 24-C).

Bremer-David, Charissa. "The Tapestry Patronage of Madame de Montespan and Her Family." In Tapestry in the Baroque, New Aspects of Production and Patronage (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2010), p. 331 and p. 340, notes 50-51 (83.DD.338 ill. p. 332, fig. 12).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015) pp. 266-267, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Asian Influences Curriculum

Science and Exploration in the Decorative Arts

Lesson in which students understand the Age of Exploration and the Scientific Revolution through studying European decorative arts.

Visual Arts; History–Social Science

6-8

Two-Part Lesson

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: The Astronomers / Emperor of China Tapestry
  • /
    Audio: The Astronomers / Emperor of China Tapestry / Bremer-David