London, South Kensington
7 June 2005
A LOUIS XV BEAUVAIS PASTORAL TAPESTRY
AFTER A DESIGN BY FRANCOIS BOUCHER, CIRCA 1736 - 1762
Woven in wools and silks, depicting La Pêcheuse from Les Fêtes Italiennes, with courtly dressed maidens and a youth fishing in a river landscape with classical ruins beyond, within a later simulated picture frame border and an olive outer slip, the borders probably associated, the outer slip replaced to bottom edge, limited areas of reweaving to the light silks
9ft. 9in. x 9ft. 8in. (298cm. x 296cm.)
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J. Badin, La Manufacture de Tapisseries de Beauvais, Paris, 1909, p.60. A.G. Bennett, Five Centuries of Tapestry, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, 1992, cat.84, pp.270.
The series to which this tapestry belongs was the first tapestry series designed by François Boucher (d. 1770) for the Beauvais workshop that was at that point headed by Nicolas Besnier and Jean-Baptiste Oudry. The series consisted of 8 pieces, probably designed in two stages with La Pêcheuse forming part of the first set of four supplied in 1736, while the second set of four panels was finished not before 1742. The series enjoyed a great success and was woven no less than 13 times and was woven as late as 1762. A painting attributed to Boucher and depicting La Pêcheuse was in the Watel Dehayin sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, 12 June 1973, lot 4, and later in a New York collection.
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