Two Putti Trying To Stop a Monkey Abducting a Child from a set of the Giochi di Putti

Various artists/makers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 503

This tapestry is one of eight that reproduce, in part, a set of twenty ordered in 1520 by Pope Leo X for the Hall of the Consistory in the Vatican. The design was conceived as an allegorical celebration of the golden age under the Medicis and under Leo X in particular. The theme and format of the set may have been conceived by Raphael (both of the putti in this tapestry derive from lost paintings by him), but the designs were executed by his pupils. Several of the preparatory sketches are in the hand of Giovanni de Udine, while the cartoons were painted in Brussels by Tommaso Vincidor, who traveled there for that purpose in 1520.

The ground of the original set was woven in gold thread, which may account for its disappearance during the late eighteenth century, a period in which many historic tapestries were burned in order to extract the precious metals they contained. The seventeenth-century reweavings imitate the golden effect with striations of yellow silk and wool.

Two Putti Trying To Stop a Monkey Abducting a Child from a set of the Giochi di Putti, Design attributed to Giovanni da Udine (Giovanni dei Ricamatori) (Italian, Udine 1487–1564 Rome), Wool warps, wool and silk wefts, Italian, Rome

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