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    A Set of Six French Tapestry Cartoons from Les Douze Mois Grotesques

    Attributed to Claude Audran III (French, 1658-1734), Paris, France
    Oil on canvas laid on panel
    Each panel 94 in. high x 22.5 in. wide

    Claude Audran III painted this series in 1708-09, while he was executing the decoration of the apartments of the Dauphin, later King Louis XV, at the Château de Meudon. An entry in the Comptes des Bâtiments indicates the creation of the series:

    'Année 1709. Maison Royales. - Peinture: à Claude Audran, autre peintre, pour un tableau représentant un berceau où des singes sont à table; posé à Marly en 1709, 300 livres. A luy pour peintures faites aux Gobelins en 1708 et 1709, pour le nouveau batiment de Monseigneur à Meudon 495 livres'.

    It was during the same period that the young Antoine Watteau, then around 24 years old, was working under Audran. It is probable that he collaborated on this project, while Alexandre-François Desportes supplied the animal figures. The present panels do not appear to have remained at Gobelins thereafter as they are not recorded in the detailed inventory taken at the workshop in 1736.

    The actual tapestry series woven for the Dauphin, which contained gold and silver-thread, was divided into three panels, one with six joined panels and the other two with three joined panels each. That suite is today in the Mobilier National in Paris, with the exception of one of the smaller panels depicting October, November and December that was already noted missing in 1830.

    Jean Audran, brother of the designer, subsequently engraved the cartoons in 1726, which were later copied by Gottfried Rogg of Augsburg in his 'Neues Unterschiedliches Bilderlaub und Grotetchgenwerk'. Interestingly the set executed for the Dauphin is extended at the top and includes a further ornament while the present lot corresponds in design to the engravings. The Dauphin Mois Grotesques set is the only listed suite of this subject recorded in the official records at the Royal Gobelins manufacture but further weavings are known to exist.

    A complete set of the Tapestries of the Months, possibly the suite from the collection of Baron de Gunzbourg, was sold at Christie's, London, 21 June 2000, lot 180.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    19th-20th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,212

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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