The Camel from a set of five Grotesques

Designer: Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, Lille 1636–1699 London)

Artist: Style of Jean Berain (French, Saint-Mihiel 1640–1711 Paris)

Designer: Designed by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, Lille 1636–1699 London)

Designer: Border designed by Guy Louis Vernansal the Elder (French, Fontainebleau 1648–1729 Paris)

Manufactory: Beauvais

Factory director: Philippe Béhagle (French, 1641–1705) , or his son Philippe

Date: designed ca. 1688, woven ca. 1690–1711

Culture: French, Beauvais

Medium: Wool, silk (21-27 warps per inch, 8-9 per cm.)

Dimensions: H. 118 x W. 208 1/2 inches (299.7 x 529.6 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Tapestries

Credit Line: Gift of John M. Schiff, 1977

Accession Number: 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 (1640–1711), 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.