The Siege of Bouchain, Flanders was an event that high-lighted the military genius of John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough. Three of eleven tapestries in the series entitled the Victories of the Duke of Marlborough commemorate this occasion, reflecting the significance of this event.
Bouchain III: the Siege & Capitulation is the final of the three, depicting the culmination of the siege with the surrender of the French. The tapestry was designed and woven circa 1714 - 15 for the duke as the centre piece of an impressive art display for his new Blenheim Palace.
In 2007, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, held an exhibition called 'Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendour'. It was the first comprehensive survey of 17th century European tapestries. It was an ambitious international loan exhibition, drawing upon many examples including the 'Siege of Bouchain’ from the Second State Drawing Room at Blenheim Palace.
Recognising that borrowing the tapestry left the Castle with a vast empty wall space, The Met commissioned Zardi & Zardi to make a reproduction to hang for the duration of the exhibition.
Images by kind permission of The Duke of Marlborough.