A 17th Century Royal Aubusson Tapestry, by Isaac Moillon (1614-1673) “Τhe Banquet Of Dido And Aeneas”
“The Banquet of Dido and Aeneas”
The banquet given by Dido in favour of Aeneas, Tapestry works from Royal Aubusson of Louis XIV of the XVIIth century, according to the models of the painter Isaac Moillon (1614-1673).
In the grand palace of Carthage, the guests of the banquet are installed. To the right Dido, captivated by his charm, after a song by the minstrel, is encircles with the arm the child Cupid, as Aeneas, accompanied with Achate ( being served wine ), tells Dido the story of how Troy was captured, and how he escaped, carrying his father, Anchises, on his back, and leading his son, Ascanius. Tapestry encircled with a rich border with decor of garlands of flowers.
Signed down to the right “A Fleurs de Lys B” meaning Royal factory of Aubusson.
286 x 375 cm
Bibliography: Tapestry represented by Mrs Nicole de Reyniès in her work on Isaac Moillon «a painter
of the King in Aubusson» page 210 with on the page 211 of the coloured reproductions of several tapestry with some variants on the same topic.
Somogy editions of art, departmental museum of the tapestry Aubusson, June, 2005
157-222 The Trojans land in Africa after the storm. Aeneas reconnoitres, and shoots seven stags. He heartens his men and they feast, saddened by the apparent loss of thirteen of their twenty ships.
223-96 Venus compalins to Jupiter that the promise of Aeneas’ destiny is not being fulfilled. He replies that it will be fulfilled, and outlines the glory awaiting the Roman people and their mission to civilize the world.
297-304 Jupiter sends Mercury to tell Dido to receive the Trojans hospitably.
305-417 Aeneas meets his mother Venus, disguised as a huntress. She tells him the history of Dido and Carthage, and when she asks him for his story, he complains bitterly of his ill fortune. She replies that his companions will return safely, and disappears after hiding him and Achates in a cloud.
418-493 Aeneas and Achates marvel at the size and activity of the newly established town of Carthage. They come to the temple of Juno, where they see on the walls pictures of events in the Trojan war; Aeneas is heartened by this, and studies them one after the other, reminding himself of the triumphs and disasters of the war.
494-656 Dido comes to the temple, and while she is attending to the city’s affairs, Aeneas’ lost companions approach. Ilioneus on their behalf asks for help, which she readily grants. Aeneas then comes forth from the cloud and gratefully expresses his thanks. She is amazed to find that so famous a hero has come to her kingdom, and proclaims sacrifices and a feast. Aeneas for his part sends Achates to bring presents.
657-94 Venus intervenes by instructing Cupid to disguise himself as Ascanius and make Dido fall in love with A. She spirits Ascanius away.
695-756 Cupid disguised as Ascanius arrives, and the banquet begins. Dido is captivated by his charm. After a song by the minstrel, she asks A. to tell the story of his 7-years wanderings.
Le banquet donné par Didon en l’honneur d ‘Enée
Tapisserie manufacture Royale d’Aubusson dernier quart du XVIIe siècle. Tenture de Didon et Enée d’après des modèles du peintre Isaac Moillon (1614-1673).
Dans la grande salle du palais de Carthage, les convives du festin sont installés. A droite Didon entoure de son bras l’enfant cupidon, à son coté Enée raconte les malheurs de Troie, puis sur la gauche Achate se fait servir à boire. Tapisserie entourée d ‘une belle bordure à décor de guirlandes de fluers.
Bibliographie: Tapisserie décrite par Mme Nicole de Reyniès dans son ouvrage sur Isaac Moillon « un peintre du roi à Aubusson »page 210 avec à la page 211 des reproductions en couleurs de plusieurs tapisserie avec quelques variantes sur le même thème.
Somogy éditions d’art, musée départemental de la tapisserie Aubusson, juin 2005