This section is from the book "Tapestries; Their Origin, History And Renaissance", by George Leland Hunter. Also available from Amazon: Tapestries; Their Origin, History, And Renaissance.
In 1720 Philip V of Spain encouraged Jacques Vandergoten of Antwerp, with his four sons, to start in Madrid the Santa Barbara factory that is still in operation. The Vandergotens began by copying old sets of tapestries in the Royal Spanish Collection, among others the Conquest of Tunis, and the Story of Cyrus. Among new designs one of the most popular was the Story of Don Quixote, by Andrea Procaccini from the San Michele works in Rome. But the reputation of the Santa Barbara factory rests mainly on the 92 tapestries woven in the last quarter of the XVIII century from the 45 cartoons of Don Francisco de Goya (See Goya Tapices).
Goya's tapestries are all characteristic pictures of contemporary Spanish life. Among these illustrated in half-tone by Albert F. Calvert in his "Es-corial" London, 1907, are: the Gardens of Buen Retiro, Child Riding a Sheep, the Country Dance, the Kite, the Washerwoman, the Little Giants, the Grape Sellers, the Card Players, the Wool Cutters, the See-Saw, the Reapers. In the same writer's "Goya" London, 1908, are illustrated many of Goya's tapestry cartoons that are preserved in the Prado. The cartoons are interesting to compare with the tapestries, as those that were executed on the low warp loom reverse the direction of the design. In Calvert's "Escorial" are also illustrated a number of tapestries by F. Bayeu, painter to the King of Spain and Goya's master and father-in-law. The most interesting is Children Playing at Bull Fighting.