Royal Dominion Over Time : The Tapestries Of The Four Seasons
Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi
Morgan Zarucchi, Jeanne, "Royal Dominion Over Time : The Tapestries Of The Four Seasons", dans Cahiers du XVIIe siècle, 2003, vol. VIII, 1, p. 157-168.
The Gobelins Tapestries of the Four Elements and Four Seasons, commissioned by Louis XIV and executed under the supervision of Charles Le Brun in the mid-1660’s, represented one of the first major undertakings of the Petite Académie, later known as the Académie des Inscriptions et Médailles. As commemorated in an embellished manuscript version by Jacques Bailly, dating from about 1668, the tapestries employed an impressive variety of iconographic symbols to convey the majesty of Louis XIV. The visual symbols and Latin devices in the Tapestries of the Four Seasons depict time itself as a manifestation of the king’s sovereignty over the forces of nature. In addition, the manuscript demonstrates the poetic influence of Charles Perrault, one of the Petite Académie’s founding members. Aspects of the tapestries’ images and descriptions may be seen to offer some early antecedents of Perrault’s later literary interests, including the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes.
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