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The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image

The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image


The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 82 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 power of Louis XIV to tie all together in the strength of unity. The assassin Ravaillac, fanatically muttering through the streets of Paris, alternately hiding and swaggering throughout the loveliest month of May, when he thrust his murderous dagger through the royal coach, not only gave a death blow to Henri IV, but to many of these industries that the king had cherished for his people against the opposition of his prime minister. The tale of tapestry is like a vine hanging on a frame of history, and frequent allusion therefore must be made to the tales of kings and their ministers. As it is not always a monarch, but often the power behind the throne that rules, we see the force of Richelieu surging behind the reign of the suppressed Louis XIII, whose rule followed that of the regretted Henri IV. The master of the then new Palais-Royal had minor interests of his own, apart from his generous plots of ruin for the Protestants, for all the French nobility, and for the House of Austria to which the queen belonged. Luxurious surroundings were a necessity to this man, refined in the arts of cruelty and of living. It was no wonder that under him tapestry weaving was not allowed to die, but was fostered until that day when the Grand Monarch would organise and perfect. In 1643, Louis XIV came to the throne under the guidance of Anne of Austria, but it was many years before he was able to make his influence appreciable. Meanwhile, however, others were fostering the elegant industry. It was as early as 1647 that two celebrated tapestry weavers came to Paris from Italy. They were Pierre Lefèvre or Lefebvre and his son Jean. The first of these was the chief of a factory in Florence, whither he presently returned. Jean Lefebvre stayed in Paris, won his way all the better for being released from parental rule, and in time received the great honour of being appointed one of the directors of the Gobelins, when that factory was finally organised as an institution of the state. See larger image

The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 83 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 GOBELINS BORDER (DETAIL) SEVENTEENTH CENTURY See larger image CHILDREN GARDENING After Charles Lebrun. Gobelins, Seventeenth Century. Château Henri Quatre, Pau During the regency of Louis XIV there were also factories outside of Paris. The high-warp looms of Tours were of such notable importance that the great Richelieu placed here an order for tapestries of great splendour with which to soften his hours of ease. Rheims Cathedral still harbours the fine hangings which were woven for the place they now adorn, an unusual circumstance in the world of tapestry. These hangings (The Story of Christ) were woven at Rheims, where the factory existed well known throughout the first half of the Seventeenth Century. The church had previously ordered tapestries from another town executed by one Daniel Pepersack, and so highly approved was his work that he was made director of the Rheims factory.[15] A factory which lasted but a few years, yet has for us a special interest, is that of Maincy, founded in 1658. It is here that we hear of the great Colbert and of Lebrun, whose names are synonymous with prosperity of the Gobelins. For the factory at Maincy, Lebrun made cartoons of great beauty, notably that of The Hunt of Meleager, which now hangs in the Gobelins Museum in Paris. Louis Blamard was the director of the workmen, who were Flemish, and who were afterwards called to Paris to operate the looms of the newly-formed Gobelins, and the reason of the transference forms a part of the history of the great people of that day. Richelieu in dying had passed over his power to Mazarin, who had used it with every cruelty possible to the day. He had coveted riches and elegance and had possessed himself of them; had collected in his palace the most beautiful works of art of his day

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