Man with a Lute

Manufactory Imperial Russian Tapestry Manufactory, Saint Petersburg

Not on view

Cyrillic script on a fictive plaque adorning a trompe l’oeil frame identifies “Gerard Honthorst”, then believed to have been the artist of the painting this tapestry imitates (now attributed to an anonymous Netherlandish artist). Large-scale figurative tapestries like this one had been woven in Saint Petersburg since at least 1716 when Peter the Great founded a tapestry weaving workshop under royal protection; by 1756, its weavers were directed by Jean Baptiste Rondet, who had worked at the great Manufacture Royale des Gobelins in Paris. This tapestry, woven during the reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia, was probably entirely the work of Russian weavers, and is part of a large group of technically proficient tapestries modelled after great paintings in the Russian royal collection.

Man with a Lute, Imperial Russian Tapestry Manufactory, Saint Petersburg, Wool, metal thread (20-25 warps per inch, 8-10 per cm.), Russian

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