This tapestry belongs to a series entitled Fragments d’Opéra
, based on operas ‘Roland’ (1685) and ‘Armida’ (1686) by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the tapestry cartoons were designed by Charles-Antoine Coypel, between 1733 and 1741. The story of Rinaldo and Armida
forms part of the epic poem Jerusalem Delivered
by Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), first published in 1581. The border type found on other sets in the series, was designed by Pierre-Josse Perrot, and was a golden frame pattern design. There were seven editions woven at the Gobelins manufactory, the scenes depicted were Roland’s despair at Angelica’s wedding, Armida swooning at Renaud’s departure, Armida destroying her enchanted palace, Renaud asleep and frustrating Armida’s plan to kill him. The first series was commissioned by the dukes of Deux-Pont, woven in the workshop of Michel Audran (1743 & 1745) and the second series from which the present tapestry belongs, was one of four, commissioned from the Gobelins manufactory by the banker Nicolas Beaujon in 1767, also woven at the Gobelins in the workshop of Monmerqué and Pierre-François Cozette. The others from the second series are no longer together; Roland,
signed and dated, Cozette, 1765/6, was recorded at the Chevalier Galerie, Paris, and Destruction, signed and dated, Cozette, 1765/6,
was sold in the Collection Seligmann, 9-12 March 1914, lot 347, and more recently at Sotheby's, Paris, 28 November 2016, lot 146, and Le Sommeil,
in the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild de Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
The only complete set is the four tapestries from the first series, without borders is kept in the Residenz, Munich.
Jean Vittet, Les Gobelins au siècle des Lumières: Un âge d'or de la manufacture royale, 2014, pp.127-129.
For comprehensive discussion of the series, see Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis and Hillie Smith, European Tapestries in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2004, pp.355-361.