Meleager Surrounded By His Beseeching Family

Woven by Manufacture des Gobelins, After François Guillaume Menageot (French, 1744–1816), Workshop of Cozette

Object Place: Paris, France


Overall: 419.1 x 325.1cm (165 x 128in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool and silk, tapestry

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Tapestry illustrates a scene from the story of the Greek mythological tragic hero, Meleager, after painting by Francois-Guillaume Menageot. Meleager is shown seated amidst his family who beseech him to take up arms against approaching enemies. Figures are rendered in a frieze-like composition against an architectural background in the neoclassical taste. Tapestry is woven in warm reds, browns, and blues in silk and wool yarns and retains the orginal blue selvedge on both sides.


1809, tapestry completed for Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (b. 1769 - d. 1821) and hung in the Galerie de Diane, Tuileries, Paris; 1811, presented by Napoleon to his mother, Letizia Ramolino ("Madame Mère," b. 1750 - d. 1836), Rome. Attilio Simonetti (b. 1843 - d. 1925), Rome. Riccardo Gualino (b. 1879 - d. 1964), Turin. By 1926, Camillo Castiglioni (b. 1879 - d. 1957), Vienna; July 13-15, 1926, Castiglioni sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, lot 163; November 28-29, 1930, Castiglioni sale, Ball and Graupe, Berlin, lot 459, sold for M 4500 [see note 1]. 1939, acquired in Paris by an unidentified private collector; until at least 1978, remained in this private collection [see note 2]. 2002, S. Franses, Ltd., London; 2002, sold by Franses to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 20, 2002)

[1] Although in the 1926 Castiglioni auction catalogue this was correctly said to represent Meleager surrounded by his family, in the 1930 catalogue it was called Coriolanus and the Roman Women. [2] See Nicole Willk-Brocard, François-Guillaume Ménageot (1744-1816): Peintre d'Histoire, Directeur de l'Académie de France à Rome (Paris: Arthena, [1978]), p. 75.

Credit Line

Charles Potter Kling Fund