Gobelins, Manufacture nationale des [key], state-controlled tapestry manufactory in Paris. It was founded as a dye works in the mid-15th cent. by Jean Gobelin. A tapestry works started by two Flemish weavers, Marc de Comans and François de la Planche, called to France by Henri IV in 1601, was later added. In 1662, Louis XIV purchased the Gobelins manufactory and there Colbert united all the royal artisans, creating a royal tapestry and furniture works. Charles Le Brun was director and chief designer from 1663 to 1690. The Gobelins was temporarily closed from 1694 to 1697, after which the works specialized in tapestry. Both low- and high-warp weaving were done until about 1825, when the low-warp power frames were moved to the manufactory of Beauvais; they were returned to Gobelins after World War II. The Gobelins factory has always been noted for excellence of materials, dyes, and workmanship; it originated the exquisite Gobelins blue. Famous tapestries from its looms include a set based on copies of Raphael's frescoes in the Vatican and 14 great pieces commemorating the achievements of Louis XIV.
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