10. "SIR HUGH
EVANS AND SIMPLE"
The seventh in a series
of eight tapestry panels "The Merry Wives of Windsor",
which, with No.1 "Queen
made a total of nine, gold medal winning, exhibits at The Paris
Exhibition of 1878.
Subject: Act III, Scene I, A field near Frogmore. The Welsh parson, Sir Hugh Evans addresses Simple:
"I pray you now, good master Slender's serving man... which
way have you looked for master Caius, that calls himself Doctor
Simple replies: "Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward,
every way; Old Windsor way, and every way but the town way".
The mischievious arrangement of mine host of the Garter Inn,
was to guide Dr. Caius to Frogmore to meet Anne Page "at
a farm-house, a feasting, and thou shalt woo her . . . "
only to be met by Page, Shallow and Slender and disarmed, but
... "let them question; let them keep their limbs whole,
and hack our English".
Simple holds Sir Hugh's gown, as he sits by a fallen tree stump,
close to a stream. The honest and wise Sir Hugh stands before
Simple, his right hand grasping the hilt of his sword. The foreground
is carpeted with wild flowers, and behind them in the woods a
stag bounds away, while another rises from the undergrowth.
6ft. 4in. high including border, (6ft. 6in. including blue binding
(for hanging by 6ft.)
Hugh's tunic is terra-cotta colour, edged red, with blue sleeves,
hat and stockings, which shows through his slit shoes. Simple,
with his healthy red cheeks and hat on his brown hair, has a
red trimmed tunic, red stockings, drab tunic with light blue
cuffs and a red line at the division. The forest scene has soft
browns, greens and greys, with bright spots of colour from the
forest flowers which abound, yellow oxlips, primroses and cowslips,
red campion and wood hyacinths, and many more. The trees include
a light green ash sapling, and darker green oaks and beeches,
under which the forest deer show brown shades with white. The
stream rushes along with eddies of white water among the peaty
shades, with the "Windsor mark" lettering in deep purplish
long panels at the top containing (left to right) a branch of
roses with buds, a branch of apple in flower, another rose branch.
These panels are separated by square panels containing sprays
of flowers. The title "Sir H. Evans & Simple" is
on a wide ribbon in the central panel of the bottom, with a sprig
of holly in a square panel on the left, and a similar panel on
the right contains a spray of flowers, with beyond it a branch
of (unidentified) flowers. On the left is a long panel of roses.
The border is not continued down the sides.
W. Hay (left, on the butt of a felled tree stump), and on the
right, in the stream, the Windsor mark of a crown above _l l_
Windsor Tapestry 1878 N 9 (underneath) H. Henry, M. Brignolas
(in deep reddish purple).
Sale prices: Not
by Gillow & Co. of Oxford Street, London. Bought complete
with the entire decor of the Prince of Wales' Dining Room in
the British Pavilion at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 by Sir Albert
Sassoon for the dining room of his mansion at 25 Kensington Gore.
Auctioned by Messrs. Christie's in September 1978.
Furniture Gazette, 26 January and 7 September, 1878.
Windsor Slough and Eton Express, 7 December, 1878.
Art Journal, 1879, p.64.
Catalogue of Windsor Tapestries exhibited at Town Hall,
Windsor, December 1878.
engraving in the Illustrated London News, 14 December 1878 entitled
"Exhibition of Tapestry at Windsor" shows this
tapestry to the right of a centrepiece consisting of a bust of
the Queen draped with flags in front of the Royal Arms in the
Windsor Town Hall Council Chamber, flanked by tall carved pillars
bearing palms . . . Under the tapestry is a large label "GOLD
MEDAL", below the title "Sir H. Evans & Simple".
In the foreground the Windsor Tapestry Manufactory President,
Prince Leopold, later Duke of Albany, is being welcomed by the
Mayor of Windsor, John Wellman, with other VIPs in the group.
A recreation of this illustration by Windsor artist Michael Vicary
appears here, Herne's Oak
to The Royal Windsor Tapestry Works
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