The elegant silk work is "apres" or an embroidery copy after the oil painting by Jacques-Louis DAVID, Napoleon's favorite artist, and was titled "Oath of Horatio". There are 2 versions of the original oil painting, one hangs in the Louvres, Paris, and the other is in the USA, in the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio..
This is an unusual Georgian to Victorian silk embroidery tapestry, both for the size (large at 23" x 21") that is nicely stretched on the old wooden stretcher frame, and then simply framed in wood. The unusual part is the incorporation of wool work along with the silk embroidery, and a quick look at the backing would indicate the needlework has been accomplished in layers, perhaps incorporating a more traditional and older silk work with a Victorian woolwork background at some point in time. So we may have 2-3 generations of stitchery at view here. But it's a fabulous piece! The subject of the Roman soldiers taking the weapons (swords) from the elder statesman is the telling of an old story but I'm not certain which one. In the old typical way these were worked, the people's faces, arms, legs are painted in watercolor on the silk, and then silk embroidery completes the rest of the figures, clothing and all. The fine drawing and artistry in the anatomical painting of these strong soldiers is remarkable - shows a true artist at work. These old ones are truly "women's art", and needlework was the one realm where artistry and creativity of the female persuasion could come to fruition. They were not, in general, allowed to the high arts of painting, sculpture, architecture. But needlework was a home art, so fine for all women to learn. And stitch they did! Samplers and clothing, decorative goods and household furnishing survive and attest to the creativity of women through time. This one is just fabulous!
Very good to excellent condition as you see it. The panel seems to have been worked in a normal c.1750-1830 silk on silk manner, and then the wool yarns that make up the architectural setting might have been worked around the old silk work at a later date - up to c.1860-70 perhaps. The frame is not fancy, nor aged, but it does finish the edge and make it ready to hang and display. It is not covered with glass and will not be for shipment, but we would advise anyone receiving this treasure to take it and have a glass cutter or framer make a glass to fit and perhaps also change the frame for something you'll enjoy more in your decor. Superb old one - very interesting subject.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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