Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Woven by Pierre Mercier, Flemish
Pastoral Scene with Nymphs and Shepherds
Other Titles
Former Title: Apollo, the Muses and Pan in a Landscape
Textile Arts
Work Type
c. 1715
Creation Place: Europe, Germany, Dresden
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Textile fibers
327.7 x 341.6 cm (129 x 134 1/2 in.)
Mrs. Cortlandt Parker, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1954
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mrs. Cortlandt Parker
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Mythological scene possibly showing Apollo, Muses and the shepherd, Pan in a landscape, signed "MERCIER A DRESDEN". This tapestry depicts a pastoral scene or an unidentified mythological subject in a wooded setting. In the center appears a draped figure holding a bouquet of flowers, possibly Flora. To the left, several scantily clad nymphs sit languorously. A young shepherd enters the scene at right. At left, another shepherd raised on a promontory plays the syrinx as his sheep graze in the distance.The border simulates a carved and gilt frame decorated with acanthus leaves and arabesques. Although it was woven in Dresden, this panel bears the visual imprint (lush landscape, classicizing figures) of tapestries from the French Aubusson workshop, and according to the weaver's inscription, it was woven by Pierre Mercier. Mercier was in fact an Aubusson weaver, but fled France in 1686 because of Huguenot persecution. Mercier first settled in Berlin, then migrated to Dresden in 1713 to set up a weaving workshop for Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony. Because of its Dresden localization, the tapestry must date from 1713 to 1729 (the year of Mercier's death).

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