Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Cadogan Tate. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table. These will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. If the lot is transferred to Cadogan Tate, it will be available for collection from 12 noon on
the second business day following the sale. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00am to 5.00pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.
PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN COLLECTION (LOTS 79-82)
THE ‘LES HOMMES ILLUSTRES D’APRES PLUTARCHE' SERIES (LOTS 79-82)
These magnificent four tapestries, depicting scenes from the series of ‘Plutarch’s Famous Men’, form a rare set of tapestries from this celebrated series. Woven in the ateliers of Urbanus and Daniel IV Leyniers as well as Henry II Reydams, they are spectacular examples of the quality of tapestry manufacture in Brussels in the late 17th and early 18th century.
PLUTARCH’S FAMOUS MEN
The Lives of Famous Men was written by Plutarch (c. 46-c.120) at the end of the first century AD. The French translation by the Renaissance writer Jacques Amyot of 1559 ensured the popularity of these stories in Western Europe. Victor Janssens and Augustin Coppens adapted several episodes of the ‘Lives’ into the designs for these tapestries, depicting the important qualities of these famous historical men.
The magnificent set of four tapestries offered here depicts Lycurgus’ Supper, Pericles’ Oration, Eumenes’ Wrestling Match, and Dio’s Entry in Syracuse. The first shows Lycurgus, a legendary figure and legislator from Sparta, who saved the only surviving child of his brother, the king, by crowning him in front of the magistrates of the city during a supper. The second depicts Pericles, who was known in Athens in the fifth century BC for being the best rhetorician of his time, and shows him during his oration to honour the soldiers who had died in the siege of Samos in 439 BC. The women who heard his speech offered him wreaths and garlands in gratitude and admiration. The third panel depicts Eumenes’ wrestling match. Eumenes, who excelled at wrestling to such an extent that he became a protégé of the king. While the fourth panel depicts Dio’s Entry in Syracuse, with Dio on a chariot and his soldiers triumphantly entering into the city of Syracuse after they had conquered it.
The complete set illustrating scenes of men from Plutarch’s Lives included eleven panels and was woven at least three times in the first half of the 18th century. The largest known surviving set, including five panels, is at Schloss Bruchsal in Germany, while a single panel is at the Musée de Cinquentenaire in Brussels. Individual tapestries of this series are in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe, the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire in Brussels, as well as the Hospice Saint-Charles at Rosny-sur-Seine.