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The Emperor on a Journey Tapestry

The exquisite Louis XIV Beauvais Chinoiserie tapestry of The Emperor on a Journey recounts the intriguing tales of travels to China in the 15th and 16th centuries. This particular tapestry, which is part of "The Story of the Emperor of China" series, was designed for the eldest son of Louis XIV, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Duke of Maine who became very interested in China after hearing about the adventures of Philippe Couplet, a Belgian Jesuit priest and Procurator of the China Jesuit Missions in Rome along with his Chinese convert, Michael Alphonsus Shen Fu-Tsung. Both were in Macau in the 1600s, and Philippe Couplet studied at the Jesuit University College of São Paulo, which is Macau's most famous landmark today - the Ruins of Saint Paul's.

Woven of wool and silk, the illustration shows the emperor seated majestically on an elegant sedan chair with a pagoda-shaped canopy. Four attendants carry the emperor while four royal guards escort him on horseback.

Seven of the original ten designs are in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.