Paris and Gobelins

Very few French tapestries survive from the 16th century.  However workshops in Paris gained major importance in the early 17th century at the initiative of Henri IV (1553 – 1610).  A group of independent workshops were granted royal and aristocratic commissions for exciting new designs and some of these weavers were given space and privileges in the Louvre Palace itself.  Important artists included Simon Vouet (1590 – 1649) and Henri Lerambert (1550 – 1609).  Sets included The Story of Coriolanus, The Story of Artemisia, The Story of Diana, The Hunts of Francis I, The Story of Rinaldo and Armida, The Story of Tancred and Clorinda.  Some 16th century designs were revived, including The Story of Psyche.  Exquisite series of verdure landscapes were produced.  In the early 1660’s Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619 – 1683) gathered these independent workshops under the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, alongside painters, sculptors, cabinetmakers and goldsmiths to create appropriate furnishings for the growing number of royal palaces and state buildings.  An extraordinary burst of creativity followed, producing some of the greatest tapestry series ever conceived, including The Histoire de Roi, The Story of Alexander, The Royal Palaces, and The Elements, all designed by Charles LeBrun (1619 – 1690).  Also, The Story of Moses after Poussin, and exotic designs such as The Old Indes.  Creativity continued after the death of Louis XIV and major commissions continued.  In the middle years of the 18th century these included the celebrated Story of Esther and Charles Coypel’s (1694 – 1752) Fragments de l’Opera and Don Quixote.  As a state owned enterprise the Gobelins manufactory and museum continues to this day.

Venus and Adonis

Price on application


Gobelins Tapestry
From the series: Ovid's Metamorphoses
France, Early 18th Century
16ft 3in width x 10ft 5in height
4.95m x 3.18m

  • Les Enfants Jardiniers

    Les Enfants Jardiniers

    Price on application


    Gobelins Tapestry
    Woven after Cartoons by Charles LeBrun (1619 – 1690)
    14ft 2in width x 9ft 9in height
    4.32m x 2.97m

  • The Triumph of Venus

    The Triumph of Venus


    Louis XIV Gobelins Tapestry
    From the series: The Triumphs of the Gods
    Designed by Noël Coypel (1628 – 1707)
    Woven by Jean Jans The Younger
    France, 1714
    20ft 0in width x 13ft 8in height
    6.10m x 4.17m