Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The Getty Center in Brentwood opened an exhibition on tapestries on loan from the Mobilier National in Paris with a reception on Monday night.  Woven mostly during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) these monumental tapestries were meant to express his power and prestige. Gold and silver threads were often woven into these masterpieces. 

The tapestry above and detail below, Winter, Cybele Begs for Sun's Return, is from the Gallery of Apollo at the Chateau of  Saint-Cloud. Woven 1692-93 by the Gobelins Manufactory.

Detail of Autumn,  designed by Charles Le Brun, the most important painter of his time, as Louis himself declared. It is from the series the Seasons. This detail depicts the abundance of the fall harvest . Woven at the Gobelins before 1669.

Detail of  The Triumph of Bacchus from The Triumph of the Gods. The design was overseen by Raphael, this tapestry was woven in Brussels about 1560. Appropriately depicting a fountain flowing with red wine in the garden of  Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication.

This one is a detail from The Portiere of the Chariot of Triumph, also designed by Charles Le Brun, woven at the Gobelins 1715-1717.

Another Charles Le Brun design, The Queens of Persia at the Feet of Alexander. Woven around 1670 at the Gobelins. 

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Finance Minister under Louis XIV, was also in charge of  the intellectual and artistic life in France. He founded the Academie des Sciences, the Academie Royale d'Architecture and the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. He is also the founder of the Gobelins Manufacture.           

The exhibition is open through May 1, 2016 at the Getty Center.