Musical Party in a Garden


Not on view

While there is a long tradition of exceptional professional embroidery in England, domestic needlework attained a high point in the seventeenth century, when it was a requisite skill of accomplished young women. In addition to clothing and accessories, mirror frames, writing boxes, table covers, and pictures were decorated with embroidery. Prints served as sources for figures, flowers, and animals, which were drawn onto the fabric and given to the embroideresses. Frequently depicted themes include Old Testament stories, political subjects, allegories, and scenes of daily life. Musical Garden Party presents activities at a country house. In a formal garden, ladies perform for an appreciative male audience. By using fine-gauge canvas and silk threads, the embroideress was able to capture many fashion details such as feathered hats, lace trimming, and the floral pattern of a gown. Facial features, however, are left unembroidered. The hovering putto with bow and arrow hints at impending romance.

Musical Party in a Garden, Canvas worked with silk thread; tent stitch, British

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.