August from a set of Medallion Months

Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley Netherlandish

Not on view

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.

August from a set of Medallion Months, Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish, Brussels ca. 1492–1541/42 Brussels), Wool, silk (20 warps per inch, 8 per cm.), Netherlandish, Brussels

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