Shepherd and Shepherdesses

South Netherlandish

Not on view

In this tapestry we witness the antics of shepherds and shepherdesses. Two shepherdesses pursue and grab an unwilling participant in the game of la main chaude, in which players blindfold and spank a victim until he can correctly guess who is hitting him. This incident is a variation of composition encountered in a tapestry in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. 5668-1859). The figures in the Met tapestry are mirror-images to the chase scene in the Victoria and Albert Museum tapestry, and numerous differences are also visible in dress, landscape, and the disposition of the narrative (which likely spread across several hangings in the Met example). These features are characteristic of a Netherlandish practice of reusing, excerpting, and altering tapestry cartoons to create many variations of popular scenes.

Shepherd and Shepherdesses, Wool warp;  wool wefts, South Netherlandish

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