Tapestry: The Emperor on a Journey (from the series THE STORY OF THE EMPEROR OF CHINA)

Late 17th or first third of the 18th century
Designed by Guy Louis Vernansal (French, 1648–1729), and Jean Baptiste Belin de Fontenay (French, 1653–1715), and Possibly Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 1634–1699)

Object Place: Beauvais, France


244 x 386 cm (96 1/16 x 151 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tapestry weave (wool warp; wool and silk wefts)

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



The tapestry belongs to a series of hangings showing incidents in the life of an oriental monarch. It is a fanciful European representation of the Emperor of China, K’ang Xi who reigned from 1661-1721, seated on a luxurious carpet-covered chaise, in a procession.


1928, Farid Abi-Raji Maluf, Boston [see note 1]; 1928, sold by Maluf to Edwin Sibley Webster (b. 1867 - d. 1950) and his wife, Jane Hevey Webster (b. 1870 - d. 1969), Boston; by descent to their daughter, Mary Webster (Mrs. Henry Upham) Harris (b. 1900 - d. 1987), Glen Head, NY; 1965, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry U. Harris to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 10, 1965)

[1] According to him, this tapestry came "from the famous collection of the Duc de Mas[s]a."

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry U. Harris in the name of Mrs. Edwin S. Webster and Mr. and Mrs. Henry U. Harris