Under the reign of Napoleon I, the Aubusson and Savonnerie workshops were revived after having lain dormant since the Revolution of 1789 as carpet production had become associated with the nobility and aristocracy. The emperor commissioned carpets to complement furnishings and complete the grand interior style he favoured, which was in the antique manner as promoted by C. Percier and P. Fontaine in their guide Recueil de décorations intérieures, 1801.
The neoclassical vocabulary of motifs represented the return to the classical aesthetic traditions of Greece and Rome. The figure of Apollo was considered both as the leader of the Muses of Artistic Inspiration as well as a sun deity whose sacred sunflower is here interpreted within a medallioned compartment that is wreathed by his flower-garlanded laurels; while spandrel trophies evoke lyric poetrys triumph and incorporate the swan as another of his attributes.
A similar example was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 25-26 September 2001, lot 388.