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This tapestry depicts `The Metamorphosis of Hippomene and Atalanta' from Jean-Baptiste Oudry's `Metamorphoses'. In this series Oudry replaced all protagonists with animals. He placed great emphasis on the designs and made at least twenty preparatory drawings for the eight tapestries that formed this series. They were first woven once at Beauvais for King Christian IV of Denmark for his palace Christiansborg in Copenhagen in 1734 but burnt in the fire of 1794. The cartoons were sent to Aubusson in 1761 and at least two weavings were produced, one by Francois Piqueaux for Jean-Louis de Lentilhac, marquis de Gimel for his chateau Saint-Jean de la Cour d'Aubusson in 1771 and another woven by Fourie in 1783. Only two tapestries are traceable, one that was with French & Co from 1914 - 61 which showed Zeus changed into a bull and another depicting the Death of Orpheus in a private collection.
What is probably the offered lot was at the chateau de la Courcelle at the end of the 19th century and is described illustrated in L. Guibert and J. Texier, Exposition de Limoges 1886, L'Art Retropsectif, Limoges, 1887, no. 22, pl. LXXXIX.
(P.-F. Bertrand, `Les sujets de la tenture des "Metamorphoses en animaux" d'Oudry', Bulletin de la Societe de l'Histoire de l'Art francais, Paris, 1991, pp. 95 - 107)
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY