SERIES AND SUBJECT
This tapestry belongs to a series of eight panels depicting the Judaic Wars (66-70 AD) during the reigns of Vespasian (69-70 AD) and his son Titus (79-81 AD).
Although no drawings or engravings for the series survive, it is believed that the prolific Charles Poerson (d. 1667) was its author on the basis of comparison to other tapestry designs by him (The Story of Moses and The Story of Cleopatra). Interestingly an identical panel is also featured in the Cleopatra series which is believed to have been designed between 1650 and 1660. Indeed each series shares two panels. It is believed that The Battle scene was originally designed for the Cleopatra series as the Titus series already had another battle scene and because the red coat on the female protagonist in the second panel is a recurring theme in the Cleopatra series (N. de Reniès, et al., Lyon, musée des Tissus, musée des Arts décoratifs, Lyon, 1996, p. 45). It is believed that he painted the modelli for the series in the early 1660s as there is mention of a set of this name in Brussels in 1663. It appears to have been commissioned by a group of weavers through the agency of Charles de la Fontaine, an art dealer.
WEAVERS AND COMPARABLE EXAMPLES
Four tapestry workshops are recorded having woven the series: That of William Leefdael (active until 1685), Gerard Peemans (active until 1707), Geraert van der Streken (d. 1677) and either Jean (d. 1676) or Jerome (d. 1719) Le Clerc. It is interesting to note that there are also four differing borders available, although it does not appear to be possible to assign specific borders singularly to one weaver. Another panel of this subject from the Springfield Museums Collection was sold, Christie's, New York, 17-18 May 2005, lot 368.
(K. Brosens, European Tapestries in the Art Institute of Chicago, New Haven, 2008, pp. 174-177)