The crowning of Philip V (r.1700–1746) not only marked the founding of the Bourbon dynasty, it also brought about a significant cultural and artistic shift within Spain (Valérie Bérinstain et al., Great Carpets of the World, Paris, 1996, p.332). Grandson of Louis XIV of France (r.1643-1715), Philip was raised in the court of Versailles and brought many of its principals to his new kingdom. Alongside a host of artists from across Europe, the weaver Jacobo van der Goten and his sons were summoned to Madrid and tasked by Philip to establish the Real Fábrica de Tapices in 1721, later known as the Real Fábrica de Tapices y Alfombras (Sarah B. Sherrill, Carpets and rugs of Europe and America, New York, 1996, p.53). In 1786 Livinio Stuyck y van der Goten was drafted in to manage the factory and the Stuyck family have been at the helm ever since (ibid, Sarah B. Sherrill, 1996, p.53). Since the beginning of the 19th century the factory has predominantly produced knotted-pile carpets employing the symmetrical and single-wefted knot and whose designs expertly echo both the exuberance and decadence of Neoclassicism and were commissioned for many of Spain's grandest buildings.
The present carpet illustrates a design reminiscent of Italianate Renaissance painting that is the same Neoclassical style used to decorate the interior of the parliamentary building, the Congress of Deputies, in Madrid. Designed by Narciso Pascual Colomer and built between 1843 and 1850, the building remains one of Madrid's most imposing. The woven scrolling pastel cartouches contained within each of the shaped panels on the present carpet are divided by ascending columns of Italianate grotesque work. These echo the same decoration that surround the vaulted ceiling panels of the main Hall of Sessions, painted by Carlos Luis de Rivera which contain five large historical paintings; four on the history of the Spanish legislation and the fifth dedicated to famous Spanish figures. The similarities between the two make it highly probable that the carpet was originally intended for this room but has since been replaced.