Maximilian hunts: The tapestry is part of a royal command executed between 1704 and 1706 the Gobelins for Louis XIV. This tapestry illustrates the month of November, the month of Sagittarius, taken from the hanging Hunts of Maximilian, also known as the Belles Chasses de Guise. This suite of twelve allegorical tapestries depicting hunting scenes was designed originally by Bernard van Orley between 1528 and 1533. The scenes take place in the Soignes forest hunting ground for emperors near Brussels.
This first series made for Charles V and Mary of Hungary in 1589 is mentioned in the inventory of Henri de Lorraine, Duke of Guise. It was preserved in the Guise hotel until 1654. Colbert organized its purchase by Louis XIV. It was registered under number 32.
A new version commissioned in 1704 and completed in 1708 with twelve tapestries of windows was woven in the workshops of Etienne le Blond and Jean de la Croix. In 1789, the suite was divided. Five large ones were placed at Fontainebleau. Three others and three between-windows, one of which is this tapestry, was made to Crown Furniture Repository.
The tapestry is a hunting banquet scene in the heart of a forest. In the foreground we can see a makeshift table on which is placed a mat and trays around which noble lords richly dressed are preparing to eat. Around them are busy servants who bring dishes. They are distinguished from other characters in the scene by the white cloth they wear on the arm or around the neck.
In the background, on the right two men are making a fire, one picks up the wood. A second table is set around which weapon characters are also preparing to eat.