• Twenty rooms: The private coll auction at Christies

    Sale 2857

    Twenty rooms: The private collection of the late Mrs Elias-Vaes

    27 - 29 April 2010, Amsterdam

  • Lot 210

    A FRENCH HISTORICAL TAPESTRY

    AUBUSSON, AFTER CHARLES LE BRUN, LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH HISTORICAL TAPESTRY
    AUBUSSON, AFTER CHARLES LE BRUN, LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Woven in wools and silks, depicting 'The wounded Porus before Alexander' from the series of 'Alexander the Great', within an acanthus scroll picture frame border
    271 cm. x 220 cm.


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    History of the series:
    Charles LeBrun (d. 1690) submitted the complete designs for this highly successful series depicting The Battles and The Triumphs of Alexander the Great to the Gobelins workshops between 1660 and 1673. The set consisted of five main panels, but the three battle scenes were of such proportions that the designs of each of these were divided into three separate panels, thus making a total of eleven subjects. This particular tapestry forms the middle section of The Defeat of Porus. The set was extensively copied in Brussels and Aubusson from engravings made before 1679 by Grard Edelinck.

    Subject:
    Porus (d. between 231 and 316 B.C.) ruled the region between the Hydaspes (where this battle took place in 326 B.C.) and Acesines rivers in Punjab. He resisted Alexander III the Great's (356 - 323 B.C.) invasion, but his slow-moving infantry with elephants, which was the most threatening aspect to Alexander's cavalry, was out-matched by Alexander's quick-moving army. Alexander allowed Porus to retain his kingdom, after his defeat, and possibly even other conquered areas as Macedonian subordinate ruler.

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