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Tapestry: Sancho's Feast on the Isle of Barataria, from The Story of Don Quixote Series

1772

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

In an episode from the highly popular romance by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra of The Story of Don Quixote series, the tapestry designer copied the painter Charles-Antoine Coypel's image of Sancho, the companion of Don Quixote, in a palatial setting. A gilt chandelier fitted with burning candles hangs above, and a buffet set with ceremonial silver stands against the back wall. To the right, the bearded and bespectacled figure of the doctor points to the table with a long stick. On his orders, the pages bring various dishes and then whisk them away as he declares their contents detrimental to Sancho's health. Around the central scene, the tapestry also features an elaborate surrounding decoration known as the alentours. Amid the garlands of flowers and fruit, two hanging bronze medallions contain profiles of knights. Two monkeys also play in the long garlands on the right and left. 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 title tapestry's title is woven in yellow thread in the bottom center. This tapestry was woven at Gobelins under the direction of Michel Audran and his son Jean Audran fils. The alentours were designed by Claude Audran III, Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay fils, Alexandre-François Desportes, and Valande.

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