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Tapestry: Don Quixote Cured of His Folly by Wisdom, from The Story of Don Quixote Series
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Woven at the Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory; after a painting by Charles-Antoine Coypel, painter
French, Gobelins, 1773
Silk and wool
12 ft. 2 in. x 12 ft. 8 in.
82.DD.66

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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.

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Woven signature and date
Woven signature and date