Allegory of Water (Neptune Rescuing Amymone)

Designer: General conception by Jacques Germain Soufflot (French, Irancy 1713–1780 Paris)

Designer: Pictorial medallions designed by François Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris)

Maker: Workshop of Jacques Neilson (French, 1714–1788)

Manufactory: Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins (French, established 1662)

Patron: Commissioned for George William Coventry, 6th earl of Coventry (Croome Court, Worcestershire, England)

Date: designed 1758–67, woven 1764–71

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Wool, silk (22-24 warps per inch, 9-10 per cm)

Dimensions: H. 10 ft. x W. 17 ft. (3.05 m. x 5.18 m.)

Classification: Textiles-Tapestries

Credit Line: Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958

Accession Number: 58.75.3


George William, sixth earl of Coventry, commissioned this set of tapestries (58.75.2–.13) in Paris in 1763 for the tapestry room at his country seat, Croome Court (Worcestershire), which was then being remodeled by Robert Adam. The resulting ensemble was the first weaving of this design with a crimson background and it may have been the first made specifically to extend around all four walls of a room without architectural frames. The harmonious and decorative quality of the ensemble was enhanced by the provision of en suite furniture covers. The set, comprising twelve pieces of wall covering and thirty-three pieces of furniture upholstery, was delivered and in place by January 1771. This particular tapestry shows the element Water or Neptune rescuing Amnymone in the medallion based on a painting by François Boucher.