Designed by Jean–Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 16361699); Woven at the Beauvais manufactory under the direction of Philippe Béhagle (French, 16411705) or his son of the same name in the late 17th or early 18th century
Wool and silk; 109.8 x 207.8 in. (279 x 528 cm)
Gift of John M. Schiff, 1977 (1977.437.1)
Presenting musicians, acrobats, and exotic animals within a fanciful architectural setting, this tapestry is from a set known as the Berain Grotesques, in reference to the pervasive stylistic influence of Jean Berain (16401711), who may even have provided preliminary sketches. The lighthearted subject matter and whimsical design contrast with the heavier, ornate style that had characterized French tapestry during the third quarter of the seventeenth century. The series enjoyed immense popularity during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and the Beauvais workshop produced many weavings for French clients.