Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shepherd and Shepherdesses

ca. 1500–1530
South Netherlandish
Wool warp; wool wefts
Overall: 115 x 118in. (292.1 x 299.7cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
In this tapestry we witness the antics of a shepherd and two shepherdesses in the fields. An older woman grabs a shepherd and he raises his hand in protest while a younger shepherdess, at the right, also raises her arm. It is not clear what is at issue here but tapestries focusing on the lives of shepherds generally have sexual overtones that would have been well understood at the time they were made. In the midst of the floral background, a bunny and a pheasant appear.
Michelle Schutz, Paris (in 1911); George and Florence Blumenthal, Paris and New York (before 1916-1941)
Rubinstein-Bloch, Stella. Catalogue of the Collection of George and Florence Blumenthal, New York: Volume 4, Tapestries and Furniture, Mediaeval and Renaissance. Paris: A. Lévy, 1927. pl. IV.

Siple, Ella S. "French Gothic Tapestries of about 1500." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 53, no. 306 (September 1928). p. 145.

Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 114, pp. 240-241, 262.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 27.

Cavallo, Adolfo S. Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 34, pp. 479-482.

Cleland, Elizabeth. "Collecting Sixteenth-Century Tapestries in Twentieth-Century America: The Blumenthals and Jacques Seligmann." Metropolitan Museum Journal 50 (2015). p. 150.

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