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Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, Workshop of Jean Jans le Jeune Actif, 1668-1723 After
Ref : 106578
90 000 €
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Atelier de Jean Jans le Jeune
Provenance :
Medium :
Wool and silk
Dimensions :
l. 111.42 inch X H. 127.56 inch
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+33 (0)1 44 18 73 00
Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, Workshop of Jean Jans le Jeune Actif, 1668-1723 After

Metamorphoses: Acis and Galatea listening to the song of Polyphemus
Late 17th century
Wool and silk
324 x 283 cm

Private collection, Paris
Galerie Chevalier, Paris
Acquired from previous owner in 2012: €110,000 incl. VAT

Pascal-François Bertrand, "La tenture des Métamorphoses des Gobelins :
émulation artistique et stratégies commerciales", in Charles de la Fosse
et les arts en France autour de 1700. Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château
Château de Versailles, 15, 2018 [online, last accessed August 26
2023:]. This tapestry is
described by the author and reproduced in color § 20, fig. 7. This tapestry belonged to a suite of Métamorphoses comprising at least four pieces. A first series of the Métamorphoses tapestry had been produced shortly before 1680, on the initiative of Jean Jans, who had drawn the paintings for the cartoons from his personal collection. At the beginning of the following century, the Manufacture des Gobelins composed a new series. The tapestry presented here is from the first series. Its subject was taken from a painting by Charles de La Fosse, with a slight variation from other examples in the same cycle. As a seasoned entrepreneur, Jean Jans, chef d'atelier at Les Gobelins (1668-1723), chose a dozen subjects
Jean Jans, head of the Gobelins workshop (1668-1723), chose a dozen subjects inspired by
subjects inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, with a predilection for the fable of Acis and Galatea, of which he selected two episodes - Acis and Galatea listening to Polyphemus, and Acis and Galatea discovered by Polyphemus. The
had been painted by Charles de La Fosse. This choice was aimed at a distinguished, princely or royal clientele.
One of the first commissions was placed by John Cecil, 5th Earl of Exeter, and his wife Anne Cavendish, during their stay in Paris in 1679. The suite of four tapestries, including Acis et Galatée écoutant Polyphème, still furnish their former home in Stamford. Another piece on the same subject was commissioned by King Louis XIV in April 1680, who had a special border made for it. The royal copy is now in Amsterdam, along with three other pieces from a suite that originally numbered seven. Here, the weaver has introduced a variation in the couple's posture: the nymph Galatea, depicted from the front, has turned her face towards the young shepherd Acis.

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