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Six Putti Dancing Around a Globe and a Palm from a set of the Giochi di Putti

Designer:
Design attributed to Giovanni da Udine (Giovanni dei Ricamatori) (Italian, Udine 1487–1564 Rome)
Designer:
Adapted from a design by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Artist:
Cartoon by Tommaso Vincidor (Tommaso di Andrea) (Italian, Bologna ca. 1517–ca. 1536 Breda (?))
Manufactory:
Probably woven in the Barberini Manufactory
Date:
ca. 1635
Culture:
Italian, Rome
Medium:
Wool warps, wool and silk wefts
Dimensions:
L. 102 x W. 108 in. (259 x 274 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace and Michel David-Weill Gifts, and Gift of Mrs. Robert Armstrong, by exchange, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.410.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 503
This tapestry was once part of an eight-piece set representing Giochi di Putti, or Cherubs’ Games. Pope Leo X commissioned the series as an allegorical celebration of the golden age under the Medici, and it was to be displayed in the Vatican’s Hall of the Consistory. Probably conceived by Raphael, the tapestries’ designs were executed by his pupils, including Giovanni da Udine. Tommaso Vincidor painted their cartoons (the full-size models copied by the weavers) in Brussels.
Unfortunately, Leo’s Brussels-woven, sixteenth-century tapestry set does not survive, but multiple copies were made, including these seventeenth-century tapestries attributed to Flemish weavers working in Rome in the newly established tapestry workshop funded by the Barberini family. Here, the weavers used hatching to skillfully depict the volume and rosy hues of the putti’s flesh. A glorious range of dyes captures the abundance of fruit, vegetables, and flowers in the swags suspended behind them. The mustard yellow ground imitates the gilt-silver used in Leo’s lost original.
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