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Tapestries in the Royal Collection

Tapestries for court spectacle and the furnishing of royal residences


The Story of Jason


RCIN 64049

The Gobelins Tapestry Factory was set up by Louis XIV in Paris in 1662 to supply the French royal palaces and quickly became known for the quality of its high-warp textiles. These eight panels, each with a woven border to represent a gilt frame, were made there in c.1776–9. They depict the story of the ancient Greek hero Jason, and Medea, the wife he abandons.

The series was sold abroad following the French Revolution and later acquired for George IV (1762–1830) in Paris, along with more than 30 other pieces of Gobelins tapestry. The panels were to form part of the new furnishings for Windsor Castle, which underwent extensive refurbishment during George IV's reign. As an enthusiastic collector of eighteenth-century French works of art, the king appears to have preferred these tapestries to the surviving pieces from Henry VIII's collection, such as the Story of Abraham series, which he did not use.

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.