Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Five Youths Playing Blind Man's Buff

ca. 1500–1525
South Netherlandish
Wool warp, wool and silk wefts
Overall: 105 1/2 x 118in. (268 x 299.7cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Adele L. Lehman, in memory of Arthur Lehman, 1965
Accession Number:
Not on view
In a raucous variation of a familiar game, a blindfolded boy tries to whack a playmate with an old shoe tied to a bat. Made for Nicolas and Guillemette Bouesseau, who married about 1485, this tapestry bears their family motto on the banner wrapped around the tree and their initials entwined in the lower corners. The youthful, outdoor play may reflect their motto, since Selon le temps can mean “According to the season,” or “According to the Weather”; the tapestry may have been part of an ensemble for the Bouesseau home representing the seasons or the ages of Man.
Master of the accounts of the duke of Burgundy and then of King Louis XI of France, Nicolas Bouesseau was wealthy enough to order manuscripts and to endow a private chapel in the church of Notre-Dame at Dijon, all marked with the family motto or blazon.
Inscription: [on scroll around tree behind central figure]: SCION LE TEMPS
[in lower corner]: NG
M. A. Tollin ; Edouard Jonas ; P. W. French & Co. ; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lehman
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 163.

Cavallo, Adolfo S. Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 31, pp. 452-457.

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