Tapestry: Don Quixote Cured of His Folly by Wisdom, from The Story of Don Quixote Series


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The tapestry designer based his depiction of an episode from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's enormously popular romance, The Story of Don Quixote, on a painting by Charles-Antoine Coypel. He placed Don Quixote and his companion Sancho in a room furnished with a bed and two chairs. Don Quixote sleeps in one of the chairs, dreaming of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, who approaches in a cloud with her left arm extended to dispel his madness. Sancho, standing next to his master, gazes in a trance at the figure of Folly, who carries in her right hand a model of a castle and in her left a pole with a fool's cap. Around the central scene, the tapestry also features an elaborate surrounding decoration known as the alentours. Amid the garlands of flowers and fruit, a monkey plays on each side. The monkey on the right dangles a long lance in the direction of the three sheep below, who scatter. In the opposite corner amid a pile of books, a spotted spaniel points at the other monkey above. The tapestry's title is woven in yellow thread in the bottom center. The surrounds for this tapestry were designed by Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay, fils, Claude Audran III, Alexandre François Desportes, and Maurice Jacques. It was woven in Michel Audran's workshop, assisted by his son, Jean Audran, fils.


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