The Gobelins Manufactory was founded in Paris in 1662, assembling numerous different workshops under one roof, its sole purpose to supply Louis XIV's palaces. Along with Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's Minister of Finance, the King began a sustained campaign to elevate the standards of luxury goods produced in France and eliminate imports. Having centralised the site of production, the very best artists and craftsmen were then sourced from across Europe to provide the manufactory with the sound foundation it needed to supplant its foreign competitors. The name Gobelins has since become synonymous with high-warp tapestries.
This tapestry sample is one of eight pieces worked by pupils of the National Manufactory of the Gobelins in 1878. They were presented to the V&A Museum by the French Minister for State Education, to demonstrate the continued skill of the celebrated French workshop.