Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 25 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 92 items
  • 3,443 items Explore
  • 90 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 10,759 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,214 items Explore
  • 8,526 items Explore
  • 5,009 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 122 items Explore
  • 10,625 items Explore
  • 13,052 items Explore
  • 4,579 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 5 items
  • 146 items Explore
  • 2,065 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,705 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 19,040 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,867 items Explore
  • 1,108 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 5,608 items Explore
  • 455 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 946 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8 items
  • 18,906 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 74 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 798 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 148 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 811 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 6 items
  • 25,376 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,507 items Explore
  • 1,524 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 199 items Explore
  • 9,042 items Explore
  • 9,674 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 2 items
  • 4 items
  • 6,053 items Explore
  • 5,641 items Explore
  • 4,057 items Explore
  • 996 items Explore
  • 927 items Explore
  • 3,450 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,326 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 336 items Explore
  • 789 items Explore
  • 1,007 items Explore
  • 512 items Explore
  • 1,106 items Explore
  • 1,138 items
  • 89 items
  • 126 items Explore
  • 6,963 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 1 items
  • 311 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 27 items
  • 61 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 3,039 items Explore
  • 1,481 items Explore
  • 80 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,018 items Explore
  • 1,172 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 842 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 145 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 23 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 844 items Explore
  • 1,897 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 2,396 items
  • 2,565 items
  • 6 items
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,382 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 31,801 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,314 items Explore
  • 238 items Explore
  • 7,933 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 710 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 158 items
  • 52 items
  • 20,477 items Explore
  • 907 items
  • 18 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,457 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 2,334 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,051 items Explore
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,288 items Explore
  • 83 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 289 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 131 items
  • 292 items
  • 866 items
  • 725 items
  • 1 items
  • 368 items Explore
  • 487 items Explore
  • 10,759 items Explore
  • 761 items Explore
  • 6,266 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 5,747 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,300 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,726 items Explore
  • 9,178 items Explore
  • 6,990 items Explore
  • 201 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 1,001 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 4,154 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 223 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,495 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 135 items
  • 3,472 items Explore
  • 13,439 items Explore
  • 2,733 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 9,273 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,343 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,019 items Explore
  • 3,308 items Explore
  • 2,029 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 163 items
  • 37,236 items Explore
  • 635 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 23,268 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 30 items
  • 109 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 13,614 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 4,550 items Explore
  • 921 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 217 items
  • 677 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 2,279 items Explore
  • 1,635 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,919 items Explore
  • 146 items
  • 82 items
  • 756 items Explore
  • 3,151 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,326 items Explore
  • 22,541 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3 items
  • 1,368 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 10,293 items Explore
  • 3,571 items Explore
  • 2,635 items Explore
  • 4,752 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 59 items
  • 6,886 items Explore
  • 4,024 items Explore
  • 439 items Explore
  • 2,280 items Explore
  • 2,453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,549 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 41 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 450 items Explore
  • 5,859 items Explore
  • 8,891 items Explore
  • 1,882 items Explore
  • 4,070 items Explore
  • 3,336 items Explore
  • 9,996 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 2,577 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,034 items Explore
  • 620 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 88 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 458 items
  • 1 items
  • 997 items
  • 3,579 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,286 items Explore
  • 47 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,697 items Explore
  • 1,198 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,546 items Explore
  • 900 items Explore
  • 2,016 items
  • 5,843 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,726 items Explore
  • 1,386 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,544 items Explore
  • 16,049 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 47 items
  • 5,740 items Explore
  • 8,023 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 7,300 items Explore
  • 283 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 461 items
  • 173 items Explore
  • 8,308 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 22,367 items Explore
  • 6,628 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 2 items
  • 678 items Explore
  • 339 items
  • 334 items Explore
  • 12,215 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 3 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 451 items
  • 183 items
  • 3,615 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,194 items Explore
  • 2,204 items Explore
  • 729 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 1,088 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 251 items Explore
  • 69,766 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2,639 items Explore
  • 2,831 items Explore
  • 30 items
  • 3,188 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,529 items Explore
  • 5,547 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 627 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 2 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 85 items
  • 29 items
  • 319 items
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 1,182 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 816 items
  • 46 items
  • 9,193 items Explore
  • 26 items
  • 17 items
  • 1,170 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 52 items
  • 15,493 items Explore
  • 90 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 6 items
  • 380 items
  • 2 items
  • 618 items Explore
  • 1,643 items Explore
  • 1,009 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 157 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Tenture de Boucher: Cupid and Psyche

Manufacture des Gobelins

Category

Tapestries

Date

circa 1775 - circa 1776

Materials

Tapestry, wool and silk, 8 warps per cm

Measurements

2.89 m (H); 2.11 m (W)

Place of origin

Paris

Order this image

Collection

Osterley Park and House, London (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Tapestry Room, Osterley Park House, Osterley Park, London, London and South East, National Trust

NT 772428.1

Caption

These tapestries were ordered from the famous Gobelins factory in Paris and are dated 1775. The medallion images were designed by the painter, François Boucher and depict the ‘Loves of the Gods.’ Incredibly their spectacular colour is as vivid today as it was over 200 years ago.

Summary

Tapestry, wool and silk, 8 warps per cm, Cupid and Psyche from the Tenture de Boucher, Jacques Neilson workshop, Manufacture des Gobelins after a design by Clément Belle, Maurice Jacques, Louis Tessier and Pieter Boel and conceived by Jacques-Germain Soufflot, 1775-76. This piece hangs over the fireplace on the east wall of the tapestry room. It is woven to imitate a wall with crimson silk damask wall hangings, carved and gilded mouldings around the edges, and a framed painting hanging from a blue ribbon in the centre. Garlands of flowers are draped over the frame of the painting and birds perch on the upper mouldings. At the lower edge there is a trophy in the centre with quivers of arrows and wreaths of flowers, and on either side a porcupine and a badger with sprigs of flowers. The painting in the centre, after a design by Clément Belle, shows Psyche holding a lamp to illuminate the face of her sleeping lover Cupid. On the gilded moulding at the bottom the tapestry is signed ‘Neilson éx 1775’.

Full description

Eighteen separate pieces of tapestry, ranging from narrow strips just a few inches wide to large panels covering entire walls, together completely line the walls of the Ante Room or Tapestry Room at Osterley. The tapestries were commissioned by Robert Child from the Gobelins Manufactory in Paris. They are dated 1775 and were delivered and installed in 1776. In addition to the wall hangings matching tapestry covers were woven for a suite of eight chairs and a settee (nos. 771776, 771777), and covers for a fire screen and chimney board (nos. 771870, 772429). The Ante Room was one of a series of three State Rooms designed by Robert Adam for Osterley between 1772 and 1776, and was one of the last rooms in the house to be completed. Although entirely woven in tapestry, the hangings at Osterley imitate a number of different media. The pink background is woven to create the effect of silk damask, and each panel has a frame resembling carved and gilded wood. The larger panels have stone plinths at the bottom, and paintings, complete with the woven signature of François Boucher, in gilded frames hanging from blue ribbons tied to the upper borders. The illusory silk, wood, stone and paint are augmented by flowers, hanging in garlands from the upper edges and strewn around the stone plinths, as well as various birds, animals and pastoral trophies. The design of the Osterley tapestry room is the result of collaboration between a number of different artists. The idea for a tapestry design based on a plain background woven to imitate silk damask, with paintings ‘framed’ with it, was conceived in the late 1750s by Jean-Germain Soufflot (1713-1780), the architect and director of the Gobelins, in collaboration with Jacques Neilson (1714-1788), the head of the ‘basse lisse’ (‘low warp’) workshop at the Gobelins. François Boucher, appointed designer in chief at the Gobelins in 1755, was responsible for the painted roundels in the tapestries, and the series became known as the ‘Tenture de Boucher’ (‘Tenture’ is the French word for a series of tapestry designs). The frames, plinths, urns, flowers and trophies were executed by Maurice Jacques, a decorative painter at the Gobelins, under Boucher’s supervision, and later elements were added by Louis Tessier. Most of the animals meanwhile were copied from a series of oil sketches executed by Pieter Boel (1622-1674) of animals in Louis XIV’s menagerie, and destined for use in a series of tapestries of the ‘Maisons du Roi’ (Royal Residences) woven for Louis XIV from the 1670s onwards. Boel’s oil sketches for the earlier tapestries had remained at the Gobelins and were simply re-used on this later tapestry series (for Boel’s sketches see Foucart-Walter 2001). The first weaving of the ‘Tenture de Boucher’ was commissioned in 1763 by the Earl of Coventry, and delivered and installed at Croome Court in 1771, and the entire room is now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Standen 1985, vol. I, pp. 385-401; Standen 1959). The Croome Court room included roundels after the first four paintings executed by Boucher for the series: ‘Aurora and Cephalus’, ‘Vertumnus and Pomona’, Neptune and Amymone’ and ‘Venus and Vulcan’, all stories are taken from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. The four scenes at Croome Court also served as allegories of the four elements, Air, Earth, Water and Fire respectively. At Osterley three of the roundels, ‘Vertumnus and Pomona’, ‘Aurora and Cephalus’ and ‘Venus and Vulcan’ repeat subjects used at Croome, and can be read as allegories of Air, Earth and Fire. The fourth roundel however, ‘Cupid and Psyche’, is after a painting not by Boucher but almost certainly by Clément Belle (1722-1806), who worked as a cartoon painter and designer at the Gobelins from 1755. ‘Cupid and Psyche’, which shows Psyche accidentally spilling wax on her sleeping lover, also seems to refer to the element Fire, leaving two allegories of Fire at Osterley but none of Water. The theme of Fire is continued in the small roundels of Cupids lighting flames on the panel to the left of the fireplace (no. 772428.16), and on the firescreen (no. 771870), leading some to conclude that the theme of the entire room is Fire, and that the other state rooms at Osterley stand for the other elements. Another possibility is that the theme of the room no longer specifically refers to the elements. A more general theme of love can be read in Boucher’s painted scenes and also in the many pairs of love birds on the decorative surrounds, and the pastoral trophies which include cupid’s arrows and a pierced heart. The Manufacture des Gobelins, where the tapestries were made, was established as a royal manufactory under Louis XIV and produced tapestries for the French crown and nobility. By the 1750s the Gobelins was in severe financial difficulties, partly due to the French crown’s failure to pay for commissioned work, but partly due to a more general decline in the demand for tapestry in France and elsewhere in Europe. The ‘Tenture de Boucher’ was conceived by Jacques Neilson and Jean-Germain Soufflot specifically as a response to these problems, in the hope that the design would attract new clients. Neilson, the entrepreneur in charge of the low warp workshop at the Gobelins which produced the tapestries, simultaneously introduced a number of technical innovations that improved the quality and lowered the cost of the tapestries his workshop produced. The design, and the fact that the tapestries could be modified to suit any size of room, appealed especially to British clients, and the room at Osterley was the fifth (and final) ‘Tenture de Boucher’ tapestry room to be installed in England in little over a decade. The first was for the Earl of Coventry at Croome Court, commissioned in 1763 and installed in 1771. The Croome commission was swiftly followed in the later 1760s by rooms for William Weddell at Newby Hall, Yorkshire (woven with a pink-grey background, and still in situ), Weston Park, Shropshire (with a pink background, still at the house but moved from its original position), and Moor Park, Hertfordshire (again with a pink-great background, this set is now largely dispersed). In all of these houses, as at Osterley, the architect Robert Adam was in some way involved. Helen Wyld, 2013

Provenance

As commissioned and installed under the direction of Robert Adam

Marks and inscriptions

On moulding at bottom centre: Neilson éx 1775

Makers and roles

Manufacture des Gobelins , workshop Jacques Neilson Workshop , workshop Clément Belle (1722-1806), designer François Boucher (Paris 1703 – Paris 1770), designer Maurice Jacques (1712-1784), designer Louis Tessier (1719/20-1781), designer Pieter Boel (Antwerp 1622 – Paris 1674), designer Jacques-Germain Soufflot (fl.1775-1776), designer

References

Harris, 2001: Eileen Harris, The Genius of Robert Adam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001 Foucart-Walter, 2001: Elizabeth Foucart-Walter, Pieter Boel, 1622-1674: Peintre des Animaux de Louis XIV. Le fonds des etudes peintes des Gobelins, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris 2001 Bremer-David, 1997: Charissa Bermer-David, French Tapestries and Textiles in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 1997 Standen, 1994: Edith A.Standen “Country Children: Some Enfants de Boucher in Gobelins Tapestry.” Metropolitan Museum Journal Vol. 29, (1994) pp.111-133 Harris, 1994: Eileen Harris, Osterley Park, Middlesex, London 1994 Standen, 1993: Edith Standen, ‘Madame de Pompadour's Gobelins tapestries’, Studies in the History of Art, vol. 42 (1993), pp. 14-33 Standen, 1988: Edith Standen, ‘Ovid's Metamorphoses: a Gobelins tapestry series’, Metropolitan Museum Journal XXIII (1988), pp. 149-191 Standen, 1985: Edith Appleton Standen, European post-medieval tapestries and related hangings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1985 Tomlin, 1982: Maurice Tomlin. Catalogue of Adam period furniture. [2nd ed.]. London: [H.M.S.O. for] Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982. Harris, 1967: Eileen Harris, ‘The Moor Park Tapestries’, Apollo, vol. 86 (1967) Harris, 1962: Eileen Harris, ‘Robert Adam and the Gobelins’, Apollo, vol. 76 (1975), pp. 100-106 Standen, 1959: Edith Standen, ‘Croome Court: The Tapestries’, Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 18, no. 3 (November 1959), pp. 96-111 Hussey, 1937: Christopher Hussey, ‘Newby Hall, Yorkshire – III’, Country Life, vol. 81 (26 June 1937), pp. 714-6 Fenaille, 1903-23: Maurice Fenaille, État general des tapisseries de la manufacture des Gobelins depuis son origine jusqu’a nos jours, 1600–1900, 4 vols., Paris 1903–23 Guiffrey, 1900: Jules Guiffrey, Les Modèles et le Musée des Gobelins, 3 vols., Paris 1900

View more details