Tapestry showing Scenes from the Italian Fêtes
Designed by François Boucher, French, 1703 - 1770. Woven at the Beauvais tapestry manufactory, France, 1664 - present.
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One of a set of three tapestries for the Hôtel de Soubise, Paris, woven at the royal tapestry manufactory, Beauvais, France, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Oudry and Nicolas Besnier (directors 1734 to 1753).
Shortly after a visit to Italy, François Boucher was hired by the Beauvais manufactory to design tapestries. Boucher created the compositions called the "Italian Fêtes" as his first commission. Combining Italian scenic elements, genre subjects influenced by Dutch art, and elegant figure arrangements indebted to the paintings of Antoine Watteau (French, 1684–1721), Boucher created a theatrical vision of country pursuits, called the pastorale, that remained popular long into the eighteenth century. This unique, unusually large tapestry belongs to the first weaving of the Italian Fêtes, commissioned to decorate the audience chamber in the townhouse (hôtel) of the Prince de Rohan-Soubise (now the French National Archives).