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April 30, 2015

Getty Museum to Present Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV

Exhibition is the first major tapestry show in the Western U.S. in four decades

Woven Gold, along with three other exhibitions across the Getty, marks the 300th
anniversary of the death of Louis XIV

December 15, 2015 – May 1, 2016
at the Getty Center

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Amy Hood
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6427

Autumn, after 1664, tapestry, wool, silk and gilt-metal wrapped thread, Gobelins Manufactory (French, 1662 - present), Cartoon attributed to Beaudrin Yvart (French, 1611 - 1690), after Charles Le Brun (French, 1619-1690) ©the Mobilier National, France. Photo by Lawrence Perquis

LOS ANGELES –It was during the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715), that the art of tapestry weaving in France blossomed. Three hundred years after his death, the Getty Museum will showcase 15 monumental tapestries—from the French royal collection during the reign of Louis XIV.

Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV, exclusively on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum December 15, 2015 through May 1, 2016, will be the first major museum exhibition of tapestries in the Western United States in four decades.

During Louis XIV’s time, colorful and glittering tapestries, handwoven after designs by the most renowned artists, were the ultimate expression of status, power, taste, and wealth. The exhibition will feature 15 larger-than-life tapestries ranging in date from about 1540 to 1715 and created in weaving workshops across northern Europe. In an exclusive loan from the French nation, most of the tapestries are from the collection of the Mobilier National, which preserves the former royal collection. Eleven have never before been exhibited in the Unites States. The Getty Museum is supporting the conservation of two of the tapestries.

At the Getty, preparatory drawings, related prints and a life-sized cartoon (oil) will accompany the immense hangings. The tapestries in the exhibition are after works of art by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio, Italian, 1483 - 1520), Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640), Charles Le Brun (French, 1619-1690) and others. They come from the most notable workshops in Europe, including the Gobelins, which rose to preeminence under Louis XIV’s patronage. Several of the best-preserved and most famous examples of Gobelins weaving will be on view in the exhibition.

Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV is curated by Charissa Bremer-David, curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the Getty and was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the Mobilier National et les Manufactures Nationales des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie.

Also on view at the Getty

As 2015 is the tercentenary of the death of Louis XIV, several exhibitions at the Getty Center will explore the Sun King’s tremendous influence on Western Art and his distinctive role as collector, heir, and patron of the art of tapestry and other arts.

A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660-1715
June 16 to September 6, 2015

Organized by the Getty Research Institute (GRI) in special collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, this exhibition explores the rich variety of prints that came to define French power and prestige in the era of Louis XIV—from grand royal portraits to satiric views of everyday life, and from small-scale fashion prints decorated with actual fabrics to monumental panoramas of Versailles and the Louvre. During the Sun King's long reign, printmakers and publishers effectively deployed prints to promote French culture, art, and style. It was during this time that Paris became the center of the printmaking world, a position it would maintain for 200 years. A Kingdom of Images features nearly 100 works from the GRI’s Special Collections and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. This exhibition is curated by Louis Marchesano, curator of prints at the GRI, Christina Aube, curatorial assistant at the GRI, Peter Fuhring of the Fondation Custodia in Paris, and Vanessa Selbach and Rémi Mathis, curators of prints at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Louis XIV at the Getty
June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016

The Getty Museum’s collection of decorative arts is particularly strong in works associated with the reign of Louis XIV. From June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016 a special installation in the Museum’s South Pavilion will focus attention on a variety of extraordinary pieces in the Getty’s collection made during Louis’ lifetime when France became the leading producer of the luxury arts in Europe. The installation includes an elaborate suite of tapestries made for one of Louis XIV’s sons, a monumental Cabinet-on-Stand attributed to the royal cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle, and a small ivory table that is one of the few surviving objects known to have been owned by the king. In addition to these decorative arts, an important Florentine bronze, formerly in the personal collection of the king, and a selection of richly illuminated manuscript leaves depicting designs for emblems celebrating the triumphs and virtues of the French monarchy under the Sun King will be displayed. The special installation is curated by Anne-Lise Desmas, head of the department of sculpture and decorative arts at the Getty Museum, and Jeffrey Weaver, associate curator of sculpture and decorative arts.

Louis Style: French Frames, 1610-1792
September 15, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Drawing on the Museum’s large collection of French frames, Louis Style presents a survey of the exquisite carved and gilded frames produced during the reigns of four French kings. Framed paintings and frames will represent five stylistic periods (Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Régence, Louis XV, and Louis XVI) with both mainstream and extraordinary examples. Showing the development of wall furniture from restrained, to elaborate and dynamic, to a more reserved and linear style, the array presents a magnificent compendium of French design and craftsmanship, and explores the vocabulary of ornament, and construction and gilding techniques specific to frames made in France. Addressing the important relationship between a painting and its frame (which sometimes date from different periods and regions), the exhibition also considers the significance and use of antique frames in museums. Louis Style is organized by Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings, Gene Karraker, frame conservator, and Anne Woollett, curator of paintings at the Getty Museum.

A Chariot of Triumph Drawn by Four Piebald Horses, about 1606-1607, tapestry: Wool and silk. Workshop of Maurice I Dubout (French, active 1606-1611), cartoon by Henri Lerambert (French, about 1540/1550 – 1608) after Antoine Caron (French, 1521-1599). Courtesy of the Mobilier National, France.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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