18th Century French Tapestry 50717
Like so many other exquisite French tapestries, this one combines gentle and subtle colors with clear points of highlighting and shading to create a striking image, not unlike the presentation of a painting. In this piece, a young man is bedridden, attended by a physician dressed in beautiful blue robes. A beautifully decorated gold curtain hangs above them, implying that the two gentlemen are set in a lavish estate. Richness seems to glow from every detail in the antique masterpiece, from the wonderfully rendered floor to the furniture painstakingly arranged around the two main figures at the heart of the tapestry.
18th Century French Tapestry 50717, Country of Origin / Rug Type: French Rugs, Circa Date: 18th Century – This splendid example of 18th century textile art piece is fascinating for its artistic technique and subject matter. It portrays a physician taking the pulse of a young man reclining in a bed. It is presumed that the young man in the bed is ill and that the physician is charged with his care. However, the details of this antique tapestry pose many more questions than they answer.
Of particular interest is the crown on the table next to the person in bed. It is rendered in a way that makes it appear to be gold shining in the light, suggesting that the person who is ill is of high importance, and more than likely a member of a royal family. The ornate and beautiful furnishings in the room also support that this is a person of wealth and importance.
From an artistic standpoint, this antique French tapestry is fascinating because it is a realistic pictorial work that mimics the antique painting styles of the time. One can easily see from the light and shadow, the direction of the light, which is coming from the right. The pictorial elements were carried out in such detail that the textile appears to be realistically draped. The artist was able to capture changes in material as well. For instance, the cloth on the bed linens appears completely different from the robes of the doctor. The curtain hanging behind them appears to be representative of highly polished silk.
Although we may never know the true story behind this historically important work of art, one can only guess that will was made to mark an important moment in time. Perhaps this was an illness that led to a change in monarchy or had a lasting effect on the person’s life. This magnificently preserved tapestry demonstrates the interest in science and realism that formed a major theme of society in 18th century France. This wall hanging tapestry is a rare find and one that will be the pinnacle of any collection.