Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 32 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 24 items Explore
  • 47 items
  • 92 items
  • 3,500 items Explore
  • 89 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 41 items
  • 9,896 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,211 items Explore
  • 7,418 items Explore
  • 4,948 items Explore
  • 74 items Explore
  • 101 items Explore
  • 9,406 items Explore
  • 13,022 items Explore
  • 4,331 items Explore
  • 52 items
  • 5 items
  • 127 items Explore
  • 2,035 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,667 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 18,117 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,919 items Explore
  • 960 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 4,972 items Explore
  • 407 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 923 items Explore
  • 1 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 9 items
  • 16,116 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 70 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 798 items
  • 20 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 134 items
  • 2 items
  • 107 items Explore
  • 116 items
  • 897 items Explore
  • 834 items
  • 91 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 23,262 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,312 items Explore
  • 1,500 items Explore
  • 352 items
  • 191 items Explore
  • 7,656 items Explore
  • 8,912 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,736 items Explore
  • 5,565 items Explore
  • 4,026 items Explore
  • 857 items Explore
  • 849 items Explore
  • 2,492 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,657 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 309 items Explore
  • 726 items Explore
  • 827 items Explore
  • 476 items Explore
  • 1,120 items Explore
  • 986 items
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 5,179 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 311 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 29 items
  • 58 items
  • 302 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,831 items Explore
  • 1,292 items Explore
  • 69 items
  • 43 items
  • 17,907 items Explore
  • 1,099 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 874 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 1 items
  • 145 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 23 items
  • 252 items
  • 311 items
  • 823 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 276 items Explore
  • 2,139 items
  • 2,101 items
  • 6 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,684 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 29,678 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,052 items Explore
  • 191 items Explore
  • 7,069 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 25 items
  • 717 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 156 items
  • 52 items
  • 19,476 items Explore
  • 824 items
  • 17 items
  • 2 items
  • 18,232 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 1,865 items Explore
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 50 items
  • 420 items
  • 3,261 items Explore
  • 82 items
  • 1 items
  • 443 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 20 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 68 items
  • 288 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 113 items
  • 272 items
  • 764 items
  • 717 items
  • 1 items
  • 341 items Explore
  • 459 items Explore
  • 10,351 items Explore
  • 695 items Explore
  • 5,848 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,981 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,260 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 9,171 items Explore
  • 6,474 items Explore
  • 180 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 997 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 3,565 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,022 items Explore
  • 195 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,486 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 695 items Explore
  • 35 items
  • 114 items
  • 3,196 items Explore
  • 12,231 items Explore
  • 2,722 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7,921 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 21,329 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 12,845 items Explore
  • 3,292 items Explore
  • 1,937 items Explore
  • 162 items
  • 30,704 items Explore
  • 633 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 21,264 items Explore
  • 195 items
  • 1 items
  • 17 items
  • 30 items
  • 47 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 215 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,789 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 15,263 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 13 items
  • 25 items
  • 3,260 items Explore
  • 852 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 195 items
  • 620 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,023 items Explore
  • 874 items Explore
  • 14 items
  • 1,781 items Explore
  • 135 items
  • 1 items
  • 73 items
  • 695 items Explore
  • 2,686 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 8,756 items Explore
  • 19,362 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 333 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 1,194 items
  • 170 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 77 items
  • 9,963 items Explore
  • 3,513 items Explore
  • 2,617 items Explore
  • 4,676 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 57 items
  • 6,099 items Explore
  • 4,023 items Explore
  • 460 items Explore
  • 2,255 items Explore
  • 1,808 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,274 items Explore
  • 41 items
  • 216 items Explore
  • 378 items Explore
  • 5,068 items Explore
  • 8,915 items Explore
  • 1,829 items Explore
  • 2,163 items Explore
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 8,684 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 11 items
  • 2,489 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,784 items Explore
  • 614 items Explore
  • 60 items
  • 16 items
  • 141 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 468 items
  • 934 items
  • 3,562 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8,309 items Explore
  • 46 items Explore
  • 25 items
  • 44 items
  • 3 items
  • 12,894 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,200 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 4,820 items Explore
  • 779 items Explore
  • 2,009 items
  • 5,097 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,325 items Explore
  • 1,340 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,546 items Explore
  • 16,132 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 35 items
  • 5,413 items Explore
  • 7,527 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 11 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 6,681 items Explore
  • 248 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 423 items
  • 150 items Explore
  • 7,332 items Explore
  • 45 items
  • 20,928 items Explore
  • 6,599 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 543 items Explore
  • 325 items
  • 163 items Explore
  • 10,843 items Explore
  • 54 items
  • 16 items
  • 5 items
  • 4 items
  • 314 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 172 items
  • 3,306 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,228 items Explore
  • 2,106 items Explore
  • 588 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 1,068 items Explore
  • 96 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 253 items Explore
  • 57,153 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2,628 items Explore
  • 2,599 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 3,133 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 14,885 items Explore
  • 5,116 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 658 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 1 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 72 items
  • 29 items
  • 417 items
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 1,059 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 715 items
  • 46 items
  • 8,362 items Explore
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 947 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,181 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 302 items
  • 2 items
  • 547 items Explore
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 933 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 154 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Embuscade

Brussels

Category

Tapestries

Date

circa 1705 - circa 1715

Materials

Tapestry, wool and silk, 8 warps per cm

Measurements

4.0 m (H); 3.3 m (W)

Place of origin

Brussels

Order this image

Collection

Cliveden Estate, Buckinghamshire

On show at

Not on show

NT 766287.1

Caption

A Brussels tapestry panel called Ambush depicting the Earl of Orkney’s campaign. One of a series of tapestry panels known as “Arts of War” made in the 1690’s. This panel was commissioned by the Duke of Marlborough showing the war of Spanish Succession and were copied for his generals.

Summary

Tapestry, wool and silk, 8 warps per cm, Embuscade from a set of three of the Art of War, Brussels, Gaspar van der Borcht or Hieronymous le Clerc after a design by Lambert de Hondt, c. 1705-1715. The tapestry shows the mounted escort of a military convoy being ambushed by soldier hidden in the woods. In the right foreground a horse falls, throwing his rider. Beyond, men on startled horses struggle to fight off their attackers, who fire rifles from among the trees on the left hand side. In the background the end of the convoy making its way over low hills, with a rolling landscape extending into the distance. The tapestry has borders with military trophies and armour on all four sides. In the centre of the lower border there is a pile of drums and cannon which extends into the main field of the design, and the arms of the Duke of Hamilton appear at the top, surrounded by the Order of the Thistle.

Full description

Other weavings of the same design are wider and include more soldiers and trees on the left hand side, and on the right the convoy being escorted by the foreground soldiers fleeing in confusion. The three tapestries at Cliveden come from a series known as the ‘Art of War’ or the ‘Art of War I’ (to distinguish it from a later variant of the designs known as the ‘Art of War II’). The series does not describe a particular battle or conflict, but represents the typical activities of an army on campaign. The ‘Art of War’ series was produced by the Brussels entrepreneurs Gaspar van der Borcht (1675-1742) and Hieronymous Le Clerc (1643-1722), who in around 1695 engaged Lambert de Hondt to supply them with designs for eight scenes, referred to as the ‘Exercitiën van den oorloghe’ (Art of War) (Brosens in Campbell 2007a, p. 480). The first known set of ‘Art of War’ tapestries was woven for the Elector Maximilian Emmanuel of Bavaria. Their purchase is recorded in a document of 1696, which describes the subject of each scene, giving the sizes: “1. Le Campement 2. Une autre pièce représentant l’action de la Cavalerie allant à fascines 3. Une Embuscade 4. Un Pillage 5. Une Marche 6. Une pièce représentant le Fouragement 7. Une Attaque 8. Rencontre.” (Wace 1968, pp. 29-30). Seven tapestries from Maximilian Emmanuel’s set survives in Munich, and each tapestry include an anvil in the lower border inscribed with the title of the scene. Five from the set are signed LE CLERC for Hieronymous Le Clerc, and two with the name A CASTRO, the pseudonym of Gaspar van der Borcht. Three of the tapestries also include the signature ‘L DE HONDT INV. ET PINX.’, for the designer of the series, Lambert de Hondt (d. 1708). The ‘Art of War’ rapidly became one of the most popular tapestry series in Europe no doubt, as has often been pointed out, because much of the continent was at war in the years around 1700. Tapestries were commissioned by various European rulers including William III, King of England, who ordered a set of eight in 1700. In 1705 the Duke of Marlborough commissioned a set of nine ‘Art of War’ tapestries via the merchant Jan-Frans Naulaerts, to be woven by Le Clerc and Van der Borcht, and in the decade that followed sets were made for six of the generals who had served under the Duke on his European campaigns (Bapasola 2005, pp. 33-40). In the second edition of Seeley’s account of Stowe (published in 1797), the set at Blenheim set and subsequent editions for the generals are listed: “The State Dressing Room [at Stowe], hung with tapestry, worked by a subscription of Lord Cobham and other officers serving under the Duke of Marlborough; it represents the functions of the cavalry in the army of the Allies:- The great piece represents part of the Battle of Wynendael Wood. Similar sets were worked for The Duke of Marlborough, at Blenheim; Lord Cadogan, at Caversham; the Duke of Argyle, at Inverary; Lord Orkney, at Clifden; General Lumly, at Stanstead; and for General Webb.” (quoted in Wace 1968, p. 49). Of these six sets four are now untraced. The Lumley set, probably the largest of those made for the generals, containing nine pieces, was sold in 1911, and later three panels were repurchased by the family and restored to Stanstead Park. The three tapestries at Cliveden, part of the set made for the Earl of Orkney, are the only others to remain in their original location, but they too have changed hands more than once (see below). A fourth tapestry from the Earl of Orkney’s set, with the subject ‘La Marche’, is now at Brown University, but the remaining pieces are unlocated. The Cliveden ‘Art of War’ tapestries are not signed, but they were almost certainly produced by Hieronymous le Clerc and Gaspar van der Borcht, who were responsible for all the other signed editions. The date of the set is not known, but they may have been commissioned soon after 1705, when the Earl of Orkney had two wings added to his house. The set was probably woven before c. 1715, as the ‘Art of War’ seems to have ceased production at around this date. In c. 1715-20 a new series, known today as the ‘Art of War II’, was designed by Philippe de Hondt, the son of Lambert, and produced by Judocus de Vos (see Brosens in Campbell 2007, pp. 477-83). Variations occur between the different versions of the ‘Art of War’ tapestries, both in the main scenes and the borders. While the Cliveden ‘Attacque’ reproduces the version in Munich fairly exactly, the designs of ‘Campement’ and ‘Embuscade’ have been cropped significantly at the sides, and perhaps to make up for the now unbalanced composition an extra figure of a soldier smoking a pipe has been added in the foreground of ‘Campement’. The first ‘Art of War’ tapestries made for Maximilian Emmanuel were all woven with the same border of military trophies and other paraphernalia. The Cliveden tapestries however have a different border, which first appears on the set made for the Duke of Marlborough (see Wace, figs. 25-26). Still composed of military items, now each tapestry has a different border, and at the centre of each lower border there is a large pile of objects which refers specifically to the main scene. By contrast the tapestries made for the Earl of Lumley have narrow picture-frame borders. In the National Trust’s collection at Polesden Lacy there are three fragments from an unidentified weaving of the ‘Art of War’ series, comprising a section of ‘Forage’ and two sections of ‘The Camp’, with no borders (1247062, 1247063, 1247064). All three pieces are currently kept in storage. A narrow panel probably intended as an Entrefenetre (a narrow panel designed to hang between windows), its design consisting simply of two borders from the ‘Art of War’ series, is in the National Trust’s collection at Anglesey Abbey (516776). Lord George Hamilton purchased Cliveden in 1696, and from then on he and his wife lived primarily here and at their London house. Two wings were added to Cliveden in 1705, and it is possible that the tapestries were purchased at around this date. The diarist John Loveday mentioned the set in his account of a visit to Cliveden in 1734: “I know no Tapestry that excels Lord Orkney’s: ’twas made at Brussels on purpose for him; the Colours are extremely lively, yet that is the least Commendation of the Arras…” (quoted in Crathorne 1995, p. 45). They remained at Cliveden until 1795, when a fire destroyed the entire house except the wings, and it appears that the tapestries were dispersed at around this date. ‘Embuscade’, ‘Attacque’ and ‘Campement’ surfaced again in Paris in the 1890s and were purchased for William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor, who by a remarkable coincidence acquired Cliveden itself, now rebuilt, in 1893 – he would only later discover that the tapestries had been made for this very house. (Helen Wyld, 2013)

Provenance

Made for George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney (c. 1666-1737); thence by descent to Mary FitzMaurice, 4th Countess of Orkney (1755-1831), by whom presumably sold; acquired by William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor (1848-1919), in Paris, c. 1890s and brought to Cliveden; by descent to his son Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (1879-1952); given to the National Trust along with Cliveden and its contents in 1942.

Marks and inscriptions

On garter surrounding coat of arms: NEMO ME • IMPUNE • LACESSET On bannaret below coat of arms: THROUGH

Makers and roles

Brussels , workshop possibly Gaspar van der Borcht (1675-1742), workshop possibly Hieronymous le Clerc (c. 1655-1722), workshop Lambert de Hondt (Mechelen/Malines, d. 1708), designer

References

Campbell, 2007a: Thomas Campbell et al., Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor, exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2007 Brosens, 2006-7: Koenraad Brosens, ‘Eighteenth-Century Brussels Tapestry and the Goût Moderne: Philipp de Hondt’s Series Contextualised’, Studies in the Decorative Arts, vol. 14, no. 1 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), pp. 53-79 Bapasola, 2005: Jeri Bapasola, Threads of History: The Tapestries at Blenheim Palace, Lydney 2005 Lawrence B. Smith, ‘Hamilton, George, first earl of Orkney (bap. 1666, d. 1737)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 Delmarcel, 1999: Guy Delmarcel, Flemish Tapestry, Tielt 1999 Crathorne 1995: James Crathorne, Cliveden: The Place and the People, London 1995 Völker, 1976: ‘Die Tapisserieankäufe des Kurfürsten Max Emanuel und die Anfänge der Münchner Wandteppichmanufaktur’, Der Geschichte und Kunstgeschichte der Max-Emanuel-Zeit, 2vols., Munich 1976, pp. 265-73 Hefford, 1975: Wendy Hefford, ‘Some Problems concerning the ‘Art of War’ Tapestries’, Bulletin de Liaison du Centre International d’Étude des Textiles Anciens [CIETA], 41-42 (1975), pp. 101-18 Wace 1968: A J B Wace, The Marlborough Tapestries and their Relation to other Military Tapestries of the War of the Spanish Succession, London and New York, 1968

View more details