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August from a set of the Twelve Months

Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish, Brussels ca. 1492–1541/42 Brussels)

Date:
ca. 1525–28
Culture:
Flemish, Brussels
Medium:
Wool, silk (20 warps per inch, 8 per cm.)
Dimensions:
H. 188 x W. 167 inches (477.5 x 424.2 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916
Accession Number:
19.172.1
  • Description

    Like the Ages of Man tapestries (also on display in this gallery and perhaps designed in the same artist's workshop), the subject of this tapestry explores the cyclical nature of time. Embodying August, a laborer, winnowing grain from a shallow basket, has discarded his outer clothing under a hot, harvest sun. Another threshes corn. Above the landscape vista, Ceres, Goddess of the Harvest, observes the scene.

    A Zodiacal belt encloses this medallion, with Virgo triumphant. Pairs of women with hourglasses separate the signs, whilst the background shifts from bright daylight through dusk to dark night, thence back through dawn to day. In the upper corners are SEGESSA (Segesta), goddess of the standing crop, and CUCULINA (Tutulina), protector of stored grain. In the lower corners are further charmingly-observed scenes of country life.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: AVGVSTVS (top center of zodiacal band, below Virgin); CERES (top center of medallion beside figure); SEGESSA (top left corner beside figure); CVCVLINA (top right corner beside figure)

  • Provenance

    Séchan , Paris (until 1875) ; [ Séchan sale, Hôtel Drouot , February 22–27, 1875 and March 1–4, 1875, no. 906 ] ; Dreyfus de Gonzales (until 1896; de Gonzales sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 1–4, 1896, no. 253/5); [ William Baumgarten , New York ] ; Helen C. Juilliard (until 1916; bequeathed to MMA)

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
220126:5

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