Monumental in size and exquisitely crafted, this extraordinary French tapestry was woven by the famed Aubusson manufactory. The stunning work was inspired by the Rococo master François Boucher's Neptune and Amymone: The Allegory of Water, which he painted in 1764 and now hangs in the Palace of Versailles. The impressive tapestry mirrors the indulgent and opulent Rococo taste of the Louis XV period. Aubusson, renowned for its hand-woven carpets, created fine tapestries such as this to adorn noble and royal residences. Long recognized for their superb weavings, Aubusson tapestries are difficult to find in such wonderful condition.
The scene is based on a legend from classical mythology, which tells the story of Neptune, the god of the sea, and Amymone. After Neptune lost the Greek village of Argolis to Hera, the Queen of Olympus, he dried up the water and made the entire region barren in revenge. Danaus, the mythical King of Libya, sent his 50 daughters, the Danaides, in search of water. One of his daughters, Amymone, crossed paths with a satyr during her quest; when he attempted to attack her, Neptune appeared and chased the creature away. The god then revealed to her the location of the springs of Lerna, ending the drought and saving Argolis. The tale is dramatically rendered here with stunning artistry and realism. In terms of rarity, subject matter, and skill, this is truly an extraordinary French tapestry.
Signed and dated F. Duplan G. Hanot and Aubusson 1877
136" high x 173" wide
For centuries, the town of Aubusson has been famous for the manufacture of superior tapestries and carpets. Aubusson weavers worked independently until 1743 when royal workshops were established to manufacture their textiles primarily for the nobility and royal residences. In 1869, Aubusson founded a National School of Decorative Arts to maintain the manufactory’s high standards of hand looming, which remain the principal occupation of the town even today. Aubusson tapestries can be found in museums, castles and churches throughout France as well as in most major museums in the United States and Great Britain.