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Master: The Story of Abraham Series
Item: The Separation of Abraham and Lot, Genesis Ch. 13, v. 8-9

Luxury hangings for royal residences

Charles Le Brun (1619-90)

The History of Alexander early 18th century

RCIN 1079

Queen's Gallery, Hampton Court Palace

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When the Gobelins workshop in Paris was temporarily closed in 1695, many of its weavers relocated to Brussels. A number of the workshop's designs – including this History of Alexander – were reproduced there, using either original cartoons or copies. Josse (Judocus) de Vos, a Brussels master weaver, acquired a set of the Alexander cartoons made by Charles Le Brun and wove a number of sets of this design in the early seventeenth century.

The scenes shown on these seven panels are: Alexander's triumphal entry into Babylon, seated in a chariot; a 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.

The tapestries were bought in Flanders in the early eighteenth century, and placed in the Queen's Gallery at Hampton Court Palace, where they remain.