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Tapestry: Meleager Surrounded By His Beseeching Family

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Tapestry illustrates a scene from the story of the Greek mythological tragic hero, Meleager, after painting by Francois-Guillaume Menageot. Meleager is shown seated amidst his family who beseech him to take up arms against approaching enemies. Figures are rendered in a frieze-like composition...

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1809, tapestry completed for Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (b. 1769 - d. 1821) and hung in the Galerie de Diane, Tuileries, Paris; 1811, presented by Napoleon to his mother, Letizia Ramolino ("Madame Mère," b. 1750 - d. 1836), Rome. Attilio Simonetti (b. 1843 - d. 1925), Rome. Riccardo Gualino (b. 1879 - d. 1964), Turin. By 1926, Camillo Castiglioni (b. 1879 - d. 1957), Vienna; July 13-15, 1926, Castiglioni sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, lot 163; November 28-29, 1930, Castiglioni sale, Ball and Graupe, Berlin, lot 459, sold for M 4500 [see note 1]. 1939, acquired in Paris by an unidentified private collector; until at least 1978, remained in this private collection [see note 2]. 2002, S. Franses, Ltd., London; 2002, sold by Franses to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 20, 2002) NOTES: [1] Although in the 1926 Castiglioni auction catalogue this was correctly said to represent Meleager surrounded by his family, in the 1930 catalogue it was called Coriolanus and the Roman Women. [2] See Nicole Willk-Brocard, François-Guillaume Ménageot (1744-1816): Peintre d'Histoire, Directeur de l'Académie de France à Rome (Paris: Arthena, [1978]), p. 75.

Credit Line

Charles Potter Kling Fund

French, 1798–1809

Object Place

Paris, France


Overall: 419.1 x 325.1cm (165 x 128in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool and silk, tapestry weave


Textiles and Fashion Arts