The Camel
On View In:
Gallery 310
Artist:   Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer and collaborators
Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer
Royal Beauvais Manufactory under Philippe Behagle
Phillipe Behagle  
Title:   The Camel  
Date:   designed 1686–1688 (woven 1688–1695)  
Medium:   Wool, silk; tapestry weave  
Dimensions:   115 1/2 x 194 1/4 in. (293.37 x 493.4 cm)  
Credit Line:   The William Hood Dunwoody Fund  
Location:   Gallery 310  

The series from which this tapestry derives is titled Grotesques in reference to its composition type. Grotesque scenes typically incorporated fanciful combinations of strange characters and imaginary hybrid creatures intended to delight the viewer. The disparate elements were unified by a symmetrical design of slender architectural features and scrolling ribbons and vines that seem illogically suspended in midair or applied to a flat surface. This scene features exotic animals – a camel, peacock, leopard, and parrots – as well as a group of performers assembled for the pleasure of a king seated on a throne to the right. One concession to the “otherworldly” nature of grotesques can be seen in the sphinx beside the king and harp player.

Name:   Royal Beauvais Manufactory under Philippe Behagle  
Role:   Weaver  
Name:   Behagle, Phillipe  
Role:   Sponsor  
Name:   Monnoyer, Jean-Baptiste  
Role:   Designer  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1636- 1699  
Name:   Monnoyer, Jean-Baptiste  
Role:   Cartoonist  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1636- 1699  

Object Description  
Classification:   Textiles  
Physical Description:   tapestry; warp undyed wool, 7½-8 ends per cm., weft dyed wool and silk, 24-28 ends per cm.; woven at the Royal Beauvais Manufactory; from the series Grotesques; lining is sewn to the tapestry  
Creation Place:   Europe, France, , , Paris  
Accession #:   38.39  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts