Four Entrefenetre Tapestries from the series Stories of Queen Artemisia
Central designs by Antoine Caron
(French, 1521-1599), France, ca. 1562-65

Border designs probably by Henry Lerambert (ca. 1540/50-1608). Cartoons by various artists, France, ca. 1600-1617. Woven by various masters in the Faubourg Saint-Marcel manufactory of Marc de Comans (Flemish, 1563-1644) and Francois de la Planche (Flemish, 1573-1627), Paris, ca. 1620. Woven with dyed and undyed wool, silk threads and silver-glit metallic threads.

From left to right:

The Requests of the Citizens
469.9 x 162.6 cm (185 x 64 in.)

The Petitions
472.4 x 238.8 cm (186 x 94 in.)

The Queen Distributing the Booty
464.8 x 236.2 cm (183 x 93 in.)

A Group of Soldiers
472.4 x 238.8 cm (186 x 94 in.)

 

 

 

Woven sometime between 1611 and about 1620, these four tapestries are from a series of at least eighteen, made in Paris to decorate the palace of Duke Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy (1562-1630) in Turin, Italy. The tapesties illustrate episodes from Stories of Queen Artemisia, an epic tale created in the 1560s by Nicholas Houel. Houel based the tale on the lives of two ancient queens, both named Artemisia, combining them into a single queen of the same name. 

Three of the panels in the collection show this admirable monarch - rewarding her soldiers with the spoils of war, taking requests form her citizens on small pieces of paper, and listening to the reading of a petition - acts epitomizing the wisdom of an enlightened monarch. The fourth panel depicts a group of soldiers. The panels are woven of wool and silk, with luxurious metallic silver and silver-glit threads using real silver and gold.

At the top of each panel are the ducal arms of Charles Emmanuel of Savoy. In the bottom border, the monogram is thought to stand for Queen Artemisia and her husband Mausolus.