Mercury Changes Aglauros to Stone, from the Story of Mercury and Herse
Design attributed to Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona (Italian, active 1540–52)
Border design attributed to Giovanni Francesco Penni (Italian, Florence ca. 1496–after 1528 Naples) ,from the set of the "Acts of the Apostles"
Weaving workshop directed by Willem de Pannemaker (Flemish, active Brussels, 1535–78, died 1581)
designed ca. 1540, woven ca. 1570
Wool, silk and precious metal-wrapped threads (20-22 warps per inch, 8-9 warps per cm.)
170 1/16 x 283 1/16 in. (432 x 719 cm); weight confirmed, includes tube: 14 ft. 9 in. × 23 ft. 6 in., 199 lb. (449.6 × 716.3 cm, 90.3 kg)
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520
Picking up the narrative from the tapestry of Aglauros’s Vision of the Bridal Chamber of Herse displayed near-by, this is the final episode in the story of the god Mercury’s love for the mortal princess of Athens, Herse. Emboldened by her jealous vision of Mercury and Herse’s union, Herse’s sister Aglauros barred his entry to her sister’s apartments. In his anger and frustration, Mercury transformed Aglauros into stone; in the tapestry, we see her disappearing into the door-frame. Mercury can seen again at the right, flying away and leaving the longed-for union with Herse unfulfilled. Such was the appeal of Lodi’s designs for this tapestry series that his cartoon-models were used, and reused, for decades: Willem de Pannnemaker, one of the most admired and successful master-weavers working in Brussels, directed the weaving of this sumptuous edition approximately thirty years after it was designed.
Signature: On lower right guard in gold thread: Weaver's mark of Willem de Pannemaker
Duke of Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas ; from 1603 ; II Duke of Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas ; Duchess of Medinaceli, Catalina de Aragón ; De La Cerda family, Dukes of Medinaceli, Spain (since the 16th century, possibly) ; Duchess of Denia (by descent, from 1873–1903) ; Heirs of De La Cerda family, Dukes of Medinaceli, Spain (by descent, in 1909) ; Countess of Valdelagrana, María del Carmen Fernández de Córdoba ; [ Heilbronner Gallery ; sold to Jacques Seligmann ] ; [ Jacques Seligmann , Paris; sold to George Blumenthal ] ; George and Florence Blumenthal , New York (until 1941; bequeathed to MMA)
Artist: Design attributed to Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona (Italian, active 1540–52)Date: designed ca. 1540, woven ca. 1570Medium: Wool, silk and precious metal-wrapped threads (20-22 warps per inch, 8-9 warps per cm.)Accession: 41.190.135On view in:Gallery 520
Artist: Design attributed to Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish, Brussels ca. 1492–1541/42 Brussels)Date: design ca. 1515, woven ca. 1525Medium: Wool, silk, silver thread, silver-gilt thread (20-21 warps per inch, 7-8 per cm.)Accession: 41.190.136On view in:Gallery 508