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Tapestry with the Scenes "L'Operateur" and "La Curiosité"

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Tapestry with the Scenes "L'Operateur" and "La Curiosité"

Made by: Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory __ __Tapestry ||Boucher, François __Designer

On view in: French Drawing Room

About this object

In the ranking among the French tapestry factories, Beauvais occupied an intermediate position between the Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory, which worked almost exclusively for the king, and Aubusson and Felletin, which produced items for a bourgeois clientele. This large tapestry combines two scenes—The Quack Doctor and the Magic Lantern—from the popular series of fourteen pieces designed by François Boucher called "Les Fêtes Italiennes." Boucher designed this series a few years after his return from Italy. The italianate characters, landscapes, and architectural backgrounds with classical ruins are reminiscent of his sojourn.

This tapestry combines two scenes titled L'Operateur and La Curiosité. At the left a landscape of classical ruins. Immediately to its right is an itinerant merchant or quack doctor in oriental garb who has set up shop among the ruins on an elevated platform covered with a fabric canopy. Behind him stands an apothecary shelf and there is a young woman seated to his right. Below the platform is a trumpeteer who is drawing the attention of a group of peasants and to the right a wafer seller with her "tourniquet" surrounded by three children. Next to the charlatan improvised shop stands a peep show consisting on a rectangular wooden structure. A woman looks through a peephole while an operator stands next to her. To the right there is a group of two men and a woman playing music by a river bend.

Object name:
Tapestry with the Scenes "L'Operateur" and "La Curiosité"
Made from:
Wool -- silk
Made in:
FRANCE: Beauvais
Date made:
overall __10.75 FT __19.15 FT
overall __327.66 CM __583.69 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
SIGNATURE; DATE __woven in reverse: Boucher 1736
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum"