Exhibition | Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 19, 2014

Next February at The Frick:

Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France
The Frick Collection, New York, 24 February — 17 May 2015

Curated by Charlotte Vignon

Peter Van den Hecke, The Arrival of Dancers at the Wedding of Camacho (detail), Brussels, ca. 1730s–40s. Tapestry, 123 1/4 x 218 5/8 inches. The Frick Collection, New York. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

Peter Van den Hecke, The Arrival of Dancers at the Wedding of Camacho (detail), Brussels, ca. 1730s–40s. Tapestry,
123 x 219 inches (New York: The Frick Collection).
Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

A masterpiece of comic fiction, Cervantes’s Don Quixote (fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) enjoyed great popularity from the moment it was published, in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, respectively. Reprints and translations spread across Europe, captivating the continental imagination with the escapades of the knight Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza. The novel’s most celebrated episodes inspired a multitude of paintings, prints, and interiors. Most notably, Charles-Antoine Coypel (1694–1752), painter to Louis XV, created a series of twenty-eight cartoons to be produced by the Gobelins tapestry manufactory in Paris. Twenty-seven were painted between 1714 and 1734, with the last scene realized just before Coypel’s death in 1751. In 2015 (the four-hundredth anniversary of the publication of the second volume of Don Quixote), the Frick will bring together a complete series of Coypel’s scenes, which will be shown in the Frick’s Oval Room and East Gallery. The exhibition with include the Frick’s two large tapestries inspired by Coypel—which have not been shown for more than ten years—and twenty-five other eighteenth-century paintings, prints, and tapestries from Coypel’s designs.

The accompanying publication will explore Coypel’s role in illustrating Don Quixote and the circumstances of his designs becoming the most renowned pictorial interpretations of the novel. It will also map the production of Coypel’s Don Quixote tapestries, from cartoons and engravings to looms in Paris and Brussels. The Frick will offer rich education programs that will include a series of lectures on eighteenth-century French and Flemish tapestries and on the illustration of Don Quixote over the centuries. Further programs will explore the history of the novel and its influence on artists working in a variety of media, including film, ballet, and opera. The exhibition is organized by the Frick’s Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, Charlotte Vignon.

Opening Dates for Frogmore House and Garden for 2014

Posted in on site by Editor on May 19, 2014

Press release (23 April 2014) from the Royal Collection Trust:

Frogmore. Photo by Gill Hicks from Wikimedia Commons, 2006.

Frogmore. Photo by Gill Hicks from Wikimedia Commons, 2006.

Frogmore House and Garden—the charming royal retreat set within Windsor Castle’s magnificent private Home Park—will open to the public on 3, 4 and 5 June, as part of the annual Charity Garden Open Days, and on 16, 17 and 18 August 2014.

Built in the 17th century, Frogmore became a royal residence in 1792 when George III purchased it for his wife, Queen Charlotte. Since then successive monarchs have enjoyed the tranquil surroundings and delightful interiors. Although it is no longer an occupied royal residence, it is frequently used today by the Royal Family for private entertaining.

The interior of Frogmore House bears testimony to the interests and talents of the generations of the royal family who have resided there. Queen Charlotte’s passion for botany is particularly evident. She commissioned Mary Moser, the renowned 18th-century flower painter, to decorate one of Frogmore’s principal rooms to resemble an arbour open to the skies. The result was said to be the Queen’s favourite room in the house. George III and Queen Charlotte’s third daughter, Princess Elizabeth, continued the floral theme and decorated The Cross Gallery, which spans the entire breadth of the building, with painted flower garlands.

Victoria, Duchess of Kent, lived at Frogmore for almost 20 years and works by the Duchess and her daughter, Queen Victoria, can be seen on display within the house. Queen Victoria was a frequent visitor during her long widowhood. Watercolours painted by her daughters, the Princesses Victoria and Louise, can also be seen at Frogmore.

The gardens at Frogmore House are one of its most enduring attractions. In 1867, Queen Victoria wrote “this dear lovely garden. . . all is peace and quiet and you only hear the hum of the bees, the singing of the birds.” First laid out for Queen Charlotte in the 1790s with 4,000 new shrubs and trees, it is based on a model ‘picturesque’ landscape. Garden features such as a Gothic Ruin, designed with the assistance of her daughter, Princess Elizabeth, were added shortly afterwards.

The design and planting scheme seen today incorporates additions made during Queen Victoria’s reign, and that of Queen Mary’s, who redesigned the gardens and introduced numerous flowering trees, shrubs and grasses, and some 200,000 bulbs. Numerous trees and shrubs, presented on the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, were subsequently added. Today, visitors can enjoy gentle garden walks and views of Queen Victoria’s Tea House, the white-marble Indian Kiosk, and the 18th-century lake.

Frogmore House and Garden are open on 3, 4 and 5 June in aid of the National Gardens Scheme, The Leprosy Mission and Parkinson’s UK respectively, and on 16, 17 and 18 August. Tickets and visitor information: www.royalcollection.org.uk.

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