Very fine 19th Century French Napoleon III Gilt-Wood Aubusson Tapestry 7-piece salon suite
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Magnificent 19th Century French Louis XV style 7-piece parlor set. This beautiful carved giltwood set is richly upholstered in handwoven Aubusson Tapestry. It includes a Canape, Four side chairs and two armchairs.
Height: 40" (101 cm)
Width: 63" (160 cm)
Depth: 24" (60 cm)
Height: 38" (134 cm)
Width: 17 1/4" (43 cm)
Depth: 17 3/4" (44 cm)
Height: 40" (101 cm)
Width: 25.5" (64 cm)
Depth: 21.5" (54 cm)
The origins of tapestry remain mysterious.According to the legend, the Saracens, after they were defeated in the Battle of Poitiers in 732, would have settled weaving looms on the banks of the Creuse river.
The 15th century witnessed the apparition of mille-fleurs: the backgrounds of tapestries were laden with flower patterns - the most famous example being The Lady and the Unicorn.
By the 16th century, tapestries were being woven in Aubusson, Felletin, Bellegarde… They were intended as decoration and drew their inspiration from religious and mythological themes, depicting verdure sceneries, animals and characters.
In the 17th century, tapestry enjoyed a remarkable expansion and in 1665, Aubusson was given the status of Royal Manufacture by Colbert.
After the French Revolution, the workshops of the county of the Marche lost their status of State Manufactures. Upholstery and machine-made carpets replaced wall tapestry, which was no longer appreciated.
At the end of the 19th century, the creation of the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs d'Aubusson (Aubusson National School of Decorative Arts) sparked a revival of tapestry through changes in its technique: the painter simplifies the weaving process by limiting the number of colours, while avoiding excessive gradations. However, tapestries were still reproductions of paintings.
Only from 1930, with Elie Maingonnat - whose goal was to interest the artists in tapestry -, did painters start to make models exclusively for weaving (Lurçat, Gromaire, Picart-le-Doux, Saint-Saëns...).