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A PAIR OF GOBELINS TAPESTRY PANELS FROM 'LES DOUZE MOIS GROTHESQUES'
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A PAIR OF GOBELINS TAPESTRY PANELS FROM 'LES DOUZE MOIS GROTHESQUES'

LATE 19TH EARLY 20TH CENTURY, AFTER CLAUDE AUDRAN LE JEUNE, ANTOINE WATTEAU AND ALEXANDRE-FRANÇOIS DESPORTES

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A PAIR OF GOBELINS TAPESTRY PANELS FROM 'LES DOUZE MOIS GROTHESQUES'
Late 19th early 20th Century, after Claude Audran le Jeune, Antoine Watteau and Alexandre-François Desportes
Each woven in wools and silks, depicting Neptune and Diana with animals and within garlanded frames, mounted in later giltwood frames




78 ½ in. (200 cm.) x 29 ½ in. (75 cm.) (2)
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Lot Essay

Claude Audran le Jeane (d. 1734) originally designed this series in 1708 and 1709 while he was executing the decoration of the apartments of the Dauphin, later King Louis XV, at Meudon. It was during the same period that the young Antoine Watteau (d. 1721), then just 23 or 24 years old, worked under Audran. It is probable that he collaborated on this project, while it was Alexandre-François Desportes (d. 1743) who supplied the animal figures.

The Dauphin Grotesque Months set is the only suite of this subject listed in the official records at the Royal Gobelins manufacture but further weavings are known to exist. M. Fenaille in his État Général des Tapisseries de la Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris 1904, vol. III, pp. 73-80, mentions two further sets of the same height as the Dauphin version and two that are identical to engravings by Jean Audran, brother of the designer, who made engravings with minor variations of the cartoons, in 1726.

This pair of panels was executed in the late 19th early 20th century in reverse to the original panels and probably based on the engravings of the original tapestry panels. The official records at Gobelins list two weavings of the later versions having been completed in 1893 and 1903 (Fenaille, op. cit, 1912, vol. V, pp. 32-34). However, both later sets are considerably taller, being 349 and 394 cm., respectively. It is probable that this pair of panels was woven in a private atelier connected to Gobelins at much the same time as the official versions.
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