The Stag Hunt, from Pastoral Hunting Scenes

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After a design by an unknown artist after an engraving by Jacques Philippe Lebas (1707–1783) after Philips Wouwerman (1619–1668), c. 1766
Presumably woven at the workshop of Léonard Roby (active c. 1750–c. 1789)
France, Aubusson

The Stag Hunt, from Pastoral Hunting Scenes, c. 1775

Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
268.6 x 281.62 cm (105 3/4 x 110 7/8 in.)
Gift of Alice H. Patterson, 1958.523

Part of an Aubusson set depicting peaceful hunting episodes, this tapestry illustrates a stag hunt in an autumn landscape. The scene is based on an engraving titled The Hunt in the Italian Manner (La chasse à l’italienne) by Jacques-Philippe Lebas (1707–1783), which was itself engraved after a painting by the 17th-century Dutch painter Philips Wouwerman (1619–1668). The series contained at least five other scenes: Falconers Resting, Departure for the Hunt, The Heron Hunt, The Fortunate Hunter, and a final scene that remains unknown. The delicate imagery and fragile style of the series epitomize the idealized depiction of everyday events that was so popular with the upper class and thus dominated 18th-century French art. This manner, now known as Regency or Rococo, emerged around 1690 to 1700. It was promulgated by artists who aimed to break with tradition, as the contemporary name for the style—goût moderne, or goût du temps—reveals.

— Exhibition label, The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries, November 1, 2008–January 4, 2009, Regenstein Hall.