October from a set of The Months of Lucas

Various artists/makers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 549

This tapestry was part of a set of twelve celebrating courtly pastimes, each dedicated to a month of the year. Here, the ripened fruits and vintage traditionally associated with autumn are evoked by a lady and gentleman sampling wine and a boy feasting on grapes. In the middle ground, a pair of lovers meet under a simple trellised arbor, beautifed by abundant trusses of ripe fruit. Behind them, vintners press grapes and barrel wine, while in the distance, dancing peasants celebrate the end of the harvest. April, from the same series, is on display nearby.
Though woven in eighteenth-century Paris, these hangings were designed after a sixteenth-century Netherlandish tapestry set (now lost) in the French royal collection. The resulting works winningly combine a Renaissance sensibility in subject matter, compositional style, and clothing fashions with a lush Rococo border, a rainbow palette, and virtuosi weaving techniques more typical of 1730s France.

October from a set of The Months of Lucas, Master of the Months of Lucas (Netherlandish, active about 1535), Wool, silk (20-21 warps per inch, 8-9 per cm.), French, Paris

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