Lot n° 61
9000 - 10000
Panel of tapestry cut out of the Royal Manufacture... - Lot 61 - FEE - Stanislas Machoïr
Panel of tapestry cut out of the Royal Manufacture of Aubusson (France), of the middle of XVIIe century.
Technical characteristics : Wool and silk.
Dimensions : Height : 275cm ; Width : 490cm.
(Good general condition, small restorations of maintenance)
Register of the tapestry : The child of Danae having pushed a cry at the time of a game, Acrislos discovered its existence. He killed the nurse and put his daughter and the infant in a wooden box which he threw into the sea. The chest carried away by the sea currents arrived on the shore of one of the Cyclades, the island of Seriphos, where the two castaways were taken in by a fisherman named Dictys, brother of the local king named Polydectes.
Repertoire of the Panel:
3 known pieces, 1 panel in the castle of Rozay in Cher (France), 1 fragment of the panel with border sold on April 8, 1993 in Paris-Drouot (France), 1 panel without border sold on December 14, 2004 in Paris-Drouot (France).
This hanging originally consisted of 8 identified panels, even though a text from 1671 mentions only 7.
Even if few examples of this hanging are preserved, we know that it was woven from the cartoons of Isaac de Moillon (1614-1673), and that it appears in the 1671 inventory of the Aubusson manufacturer, Jacques de Clairavaux.
Apparently, the Moillon hanging is the only French hanging in the history of Perseus.
History of Perce and Andromeda
Perseus is the son of Danae, daughter of the king of Argos Acrisios. The latter, warned by an oracle that his grandson would kill him, locks his daughter in a tower of bronze, which does not prevent Zeus from seducing her in the form of a shower of gold. Perseus is thus born in secret. Revealed to his grandfather by his cries, he is locked in a chest with his mother and thrown into the sea, which carries him to the island of Seriphos. Both are taken in by a fisherman, who raises the boy as his son. When he became an adult, Polydectes, the king of the island, entrusted him with the mission of killing the Gorgon Medusa, whose hair is made of snakes and whose gaze petrifies those he reaches. Perseus is victorious thanks to the magic weapons given to him by Hermes and Athena. On his way back to Ethiopia, Perseus meets the princess Andromeda, who has to be delivered to a sea monster because of her mother Cassiopeia's careless words. Perseus rescues her with his magic sword and marries her. Back in Seriphos, he takes revenge on Polydectes, who tried to rape his mother Danae. He then joins his fatherland, Argos, which Acrisios fled by fear of the oracle to take refuge in Larissa. But the king of this city organizes funeral games in which Perseus takes part. While throwing the disc, he accidentally kills Acrisios, who attends the tests as a spectator. In deference to his late grandfather, Perseus exchanges his kingshiṕ of Argos for that of Tirynthe.
The legend of Perseus, especially the episodes of Medusa and Andromeda, enjoyed great fortune after antiquitý. It may have influenced the Christian legends of dragon-slaying saints, such as that of St. George.
Sources: Isaac Moillon (1614-1673) a painter to the king in Aubusson; Musée départemental de la tapisserie Aubusson; SOMOGY/EDITIONS D'ART, 2005.
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