This magnificent wool and silk Aubusson tapestry panel from the early 18th century is based on a painting by the French artist, Charles Le Brun. The original painting (circa 1664) is entitled Entry of Alexander into Babylon; it is currently on display in the Louvre in Paris.
In the mid-17th century, Le Brun was commissioned by Louis XIV to create a series of enormous paintings depicting important events in the life of Alexander the Great. Louis XIV greatly admired Alexander and considered himself a conqueror in the same vein.
This scene depicted in our tapestry is that of Alexander entering the ancient city of Babylon in October of 331 BC. Alexander, crowned with laurel leaves, arrives in a chariot to a hero’s welcome. Soldiers on horseback surround the chariot, while two men are carrying a mounted urn below.
Weaving a tapestry of this quality and size was a difficult task to accomplish. The large figures of humans and horses, along with the exceptional details of Classical decoration would have taken a team of weavers several months or more to complete. Vibrant colors are a strong point of this tapestry, especially the blues, golds, and creams. This large tapestry would look fantastic on any wall of a house.
CONDITION: Very good condition, with wear commensurate to the age of the tapestry and likely small professional repairs over the years. Metal rings have been installed on the back side for hanging purposes. Linen backing.