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A LOUIS XIV AUBUSSON HISTORICAL TAPESTRY
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A LOUIS XIV AUBUSSON HISTORICAL TAPESTRY

LATE 17TH CENTURY, AFTER CHARLES LEBRUN, BY JEAN BUSSIERE

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A LOUIS XIV AUBUSSON HISTORICAL TAPESTRY
Late 17th century, after Charles LeBrun, by Jean Bussiere
Wooven in wools and silks, depicting The wounded Porus before Alexander from The History of Alexander the Great, with Alexander the Great on horseback and the wounded Porus being carried before him, surrounded by further soldiers, within a blue and red outer slip, signed 'DAVBVSSON.IBVSSI.ERE'
8ft 11 in. x 8 ft 8 in. (273 cm. x 263 cm.)
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Lot Essay

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 Gérard 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.

JEAN BUSSIERE
Bussière (d. 1781) was trained at the Royal Gobelins Tapestry Workshop and achieved such skill that Jacques Neilson, who was the director of one of the low loom workshops at Gobelins, refused give Bussière a full acknowledgment in 1753 out of fear as competitor. He became one of the nine main heads at Aubusson, who distributed work among the 127 weavers.
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