Designed and embroidered probably in the convent of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Providence for the Marquise de Montespan (1641–1707), these hanging (46.43.1–.4) may have adorned the king's apartment at the château de Rambouillet. The embroidery representing Air shows the figure of Louis XIV. The other three hangings depict three of the six children of the king and Madame de Montespan, symbolizing Spring, Summer, and Fire. The set almost certainly included Autumn and Winter, as well as water; Madame de Montespan herself was perhaps depicted as Juno, representing Earth.
Commissioned for Marquise de Montespan 2–5; sold to Cubit); possibly Comte de Toulouse , Château de Rambouillet ; Louis Philippe, King of France , Palais Royal, Paris (until 1852) ; [ King Louis-Philippe sale, Domaine de Monceaux , Jan. 28, 1852, no. 9 ] ; possibly Comte Sée (until 1887; Comte Sée sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 23, 1887, nos. 9–11; sold to B. Martin); Countess of Craven (Cornelia Martin) (until 1922; her sale, Christie's, London, April 25, 1922, nos. ; Cubit (from 1922) ; [ French and Co., New York ,1928 ]
Artist: Charles Le Brun (French, Paris 1619–1690 Paris)Date: 17th centuryMedium: Brush and gray wash, over red and black chalk. Squared for transfer in black chalk. Framing lines in pen and brown ink.Accession: 65.125.1On view in:Not on view