FRANCOIS BOUCHER AND JEAN-JOSEPH DUMONS
François Boucher (1703 - 1770) supplied the designs of this series to Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686 - 1755), the director of the Royal Beauvais Tapestry Workshop, as the third suite of tapestries he designed for the Beauvais tapestry workshop. He exhibited the set of eight Chinoiserie paintings at the Salon at the Louvre between August and September 1742 (today preserved in the Musée des Beaux Arts et d'Archéologie in Besançon). Their designs were immediately translated into cartoons by Jean-Joseph Dumons de Tulle (1687 - 1779) and the successful series, consisting of six subjects, was woven at least ten times between July 1743 and August 1775 at Beauvais and, in addition further copies were made at Aubusson. Boucher, who is known to have owned many Chinese objects, took inspiration for the tapestries from engravings, some from the previous Century, but also from illustrations on export porcelain and other Chinese objects. It was arguably Boucher who popularized the Chinoiserie style again in the 1740s and his figures, objects and Oriental forms became basic components of the European rococo.
Before Aubusson took over the designs from Beauvais, Jean-Joseph Picon employed Dumons to adapt the compositions sometime before 1754. He expanded the set to comprise nine tapestries, eight entre fenêtres, three overdoors and almost 50 furniture upholstery panels. Dumons had been appointed designer to the Aubusson tapestry manufactory by Louis XV in 1731 and continued to supply over 20 sets until 1755, when he left to work for Boucher at Beauvais. For a full discussion of this suite see P.-F. Bertrand, 'La Seconde "Tenture Chinoise" tissie ' Beauvais et Aubusson', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, November 1990, pp. 173 - 184; C. Adelson, European Tapestry at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 1994, pp. 322 - 342.
A set of seven tapestries from this series was sold by the Springfield Museums at Christie's new York, 17-18 May 2005, lots 361-369.