Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Aglauros’s Vision of the Bridal Chamber of Herse, from the Story of Mercury and Herse

Designer:
Design attributed to Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona (Italian, active 1540–52)
Artist:
After a print by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio (Italian, Parma or Verona ca. 1500/1505–1565 Krakow (?)) : Marriage of Alexander & Roxana, after Raphael
Designer:
Border design attributed to Giovanni Francesco Penni (Italian, Florence ca. 1496–after 1528 Naples) (from the set of the "Acts of the Apostles")
Factory director:
Weaving workshop directed by Willem de Pannemaker (Flemish, active Brussels, 1535–78, died 1581)
Date:
designed ca. 1540, woven ca. 1570
Culture:
Flemish, Brussels
Medium:
Wool, silk and precious metal-wrapped threads (20-22 warps per inch, 8-9 warps per cm.)
Dimensions:
weight confirmed, includes tube: 14 ft. 4 in. × 17 ft. 9 in., 173 lb. (436.9 × 541 cm, 78.5 kg)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
Accession Number:
41.190.135
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520
This splendid tapestry depicts the seventh, and penultimate, episode in the story of the ill-fated love affair between Herse, a mortal princess from Athens, and Mercury, god of trade, profit and travel. As recounted by the Roman writer Ovid in Book 2 of his narrative poem, The Metamorphoses, Mercury spied Herse participating, as a flower-garlanded virgin, in a festival honoring Minerva, and approached her father’s palace. Mercury petitioned her sister, Aglauros, to help him woo Herse. Stricken with jealousy, Aglauros envisioned in great detail how the union between Mercury and her sister might appear. It is that vision, rather than an actual bridal night, that we see represented here, in an exquisitely sumptuous re-edition of the tapestry series, heavy with precious thread, and woven with a virtuoso display of different surface effects. The final tapestry in the set is displayed near-by.
Signature: On lower right guard in gold thread: Weaver's mark of Willem de Pannemaker

Marking: On lower border: Brussels mark of gold thread with red shield
Duke of Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas ; 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) ; Duke of Lerma, Fernando María Fernández de Córdoba ; [ Heilbronner Gallery ; sold to Jacques Seligmann ] ; [ Jacques Seligmann , Paris ; sold to Mr. Blumenthal ] ; George and Florence Blumenthal , New York (until 1941; bequeathed to MMA)
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