173
173
France, Aubusson or Felletin
'ALEXANDER', HISTORICAL TAPESTRY, FROM THE SERIES 'THE NINE WORTHIES'
JUMP TO LOT
173
France, Aubusson or Felletin
'ALEXANDER', HISTORICAL TAPESTRY, FROM THE SERIES 'THE NINE WORTHIES'
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

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London

France, Aubusson or Felletin
'ALEXANDER', HISTORICAL TAPESTRY, FROM THE SERIES 'THE NINE WORTHIES'
woven with an equestrian figure and horse with elaborate saddle cover with a rampant lion motif, with standing figures in attendance, within a landscape setting with mille-fleurs foreground, the side borders with flowering foliate trails against a dark brown ground, and the top left of border with scroll with inscription in Old French.
wool, woven
approximately 280 by 306cm., 9ft 2in by 10ft 1in.
first half 16th century
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Provenance

Delorme & Collin du Bocage, Paris, 23rd November 2007, lot 82

Catalogue Note

The narrative in the top left corner is in old French: “Emmy heurtz alermez tempeste, fiz de babillone conqueste, noble roy dayre ay priz occiz, orient occident ie conquiz, a la fin fuz empoisonné, XX et troiz centz anz ainz que dieu fus tre”; (Au milieu des coups, batailles, tempête, fis de Babylone conquête. Noble roi Darius ai pris, occis, Orient, Occident je conquis. A la fin, fus empoisonné, XX et trois cents ans avant Dieu n'en eût trois); (In the midst of blows, battles, storm /Babylon was conquered /noble King Darius took, killed /the East, the West, I conquered /in the end [he] was poisoned /230 years before God was born).

Traditionally the Nine Heroes are identified as Judas Maccabeus, David and Joshua from the Old Testament; Hector, Alexander and Julius Caesar from Antiquity; and King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey de Bouillon as the three Christian heroes. The earliest survival of a series devoted to The Nine Worthies is that in The Metropolitan Museum of Art which was woven in the Southern Netherlands in 1400 - 1410, but it follows a completely different scheme from the offered lot (Cavallo, A, Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1993, Cat. 2, pp. 94 -124). It was in the late 16th century that the Marche workshops in the region of Aubusson and Felletin took up the theme depicting the heroes on horseback. A document of 1546 records that Jehan Chartier from Bourges commissioned a set from Léonard Deveau and Joseph Laurent, weavers in Felletin (D. P. Chevalier and P.-F. Bertrand, Les Tapisseries d'Aubusson et de Felletin, Lausanne, 1988, pp.20-21).

For a comprehensive discussion of the tapestry series, see Jean Favier, Un rêve de chevalerie: les Neuf Preux, Château de Langeais, 2003, pp. 68-77, & p.72 for a similar composition (in reverse), Atelier de la Marche, 16th century, with the same border type, but the lower border a later rewoven replacement. The series of seven tapestries at Château de Langeais were probably made for the Château de Chauray between 1525 and 1540. For a tapestry from the series at auction, see Charlemagne, depicting the emperor Charlemagne on horseback, the horse trappings emblazoned with the imperial device of the double-headed eagle, and descriptive label above in old french (Carlemaine fut des noef preus empereur de romme), (296cm by 275cm), Christie’s, London, Bernard Blondeel & Armand Deroyan Tapestries and Carpets, 2 April 2003, lot 5. For a comparable example from this series of the Nine Heroes, also known as the Nine Worthies, in the same border, see Göbel, Heinrich, Wandteppiche, Part II, Vol.II, abb.261: Godfrey de Bouillon.

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

|
London