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The History of Alexander early 18th century

Woven silk and wool tapestry | RCIN 1079

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  • Seven panels from a series of Brussels tapestries depicting the History of Alexander, each within a border representing a gilt frame. Woven in the Brussels workshop of Josse (Judocus) de Vos, they are copies of the Gobelins series designed by Charles Le Brun in 1662. The scenes depicted are: Alexander's triumphal entry into Babylon, seated in a chariot, with a boy riding on an elephant; Battle with King Porus of India, in which an elephant is strangling a horse with its trunk; Alexander with his horse Bucephalus, taking leave of Hephaestion; Alexander's visit to Diogenes in his tub; Alexander meeting the Chaldean prophets on his way to Babylon; the Battle of the Granicus; and Alexander and Hephaestion visiting the tent of the wife of Darius.

    Le Brun's designs were woven several times at the Gobelins workshop in Paris during the last third of the seventeenth century. When the factory was temporarily closed in 1695, many of the weavers relocated to Brussels; a number of Gobelins designs began to be reproduced there, either using original cartoons or copies. Judocus de Cos, the master weaver, owned a set of the Alexander cartoons and woven a number of sets in the early seventeenth century.
    Provenance

    Purchased by General Cadogan (William, later 1st Earl Cadogan 1675-1726) in Flanders in the early eighteenth century. Placed by George I in the Queen's Gallery at Hampton Court Palace, where they remain.

  • Medium and techniques

    Woven silk and wool tapestry

  • Category
  • Place of Production

    Brussels [Belgium]