Enghien or Grammont
Game Park with animals
Size: m. 2,56 H x 3,70 W - 8’4” x 3’1”
Age: second half of XIX century.
Condition: missing border with various old restorations.
This very interesting piece is a good example of the type of tapestry called Game Park, due to the animal figures within garden landscapes, that had great success among Flemish manufactories in the second half of XVI century.
In the late XVI century, great contribution to diffuse these subjects was given by the engravings by Phippe Galle after the drawings by Giovanni Stradano (Jean vab der Straat).
Gathered under the title Venationes ferarum, Avium, Pisciium, Pugnae Bestiarum et Mutae Bestiarum, these engravings , published in Antwerp in 1578 were probably inspiration for the cartoon of this tapestry. On the other hand, in the several private and public collections with Game Parks the animal are not realistic but they are symbolic and exotic even with allegorical meaning like the struggle between Good and Evil or the Virtues over Vices (compare J. Boccara, Ames de laine et de soie, Paris 1988, pg 71-85).
The scene is withdrawn within an exotic and luxuriant landscape with palm trees and fruit trees.
On the left side we see depicted the fight between an elephant and an armored rhinoceros (its drawings is inspired by Albrecht Durer’s (1471 -1528) xylography dated 1515 and now at the British Museum). On the left part of the scene the animals are much more quiet and they are depicted drinking water from a small river. Among these we may notice the mythological figure of an unicorn (symbol of purity and virginity) which is the subject of the most famous tapestries ever woven.