THE AUDIENCE WITH THE EMPEROR from the series The Story of the Emperor of China. c1687 – 1700.
Wool, silk 103cm x 98cm.
Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory, France.
Designed by Guy Louis Versanal the Elder, Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay the Elder & Jean – Baptiste Monnoyer.
A rare & exotic centre fragment of The Audience with the Emperor, the most important Louis XIV period Chinoiserie tapestry series,The Story of the Emperor of China.
The series was an extraordinary woven revelation of the exotic plants, animals, people & culture of the Chinese Court during the first diplomatic envoys with Louis XIV & marked the beginning of Chinoiserie.
The series traditionally
included The Emperor on a Journey, The Emperor Sailing, The EmpressSailing, Gathering Pineapples, The Astronomers, The Return from the Hunt, The
Empress’ Tea, The Collation, The Gathering of Tea (as yet
unidentified) and the most celebrated of all The Audience of the Emperor.
Ten sets of the series are known. Complete versions of The Audience are held by :
1. Two examples in the Musèe du Louvre, Paris
2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
3. Residenz, Munich (Bavarian National Collection)
4. Sold Mme. Ridgeway, Galerie Georges Petit,
6. Prince Clement Augustus, Cologne and sold
to a Russian collector in 1914.
7. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
8. Victoria &
Albert Museum, London
A complete example of The Audience with the Emperor sold Christies
New York 2003 USD $455,500
This example illustrates the Emperor, Kang Hsi.
Price inc GST $12,500
the complete tapestry, in the Metropolitan Museum, NYC
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