Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1951.33
People
Unidentified Artist
Title
Figures in a Wooded Landscape
Classification
Textile Arts
Work Type
tapestry
Date
late 16th century
Places
Creation Place: Europe, Belgium, Oudenaarde
Culture
Flemish
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/215035
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Textile fibers
Dimensions
264.2 x 257.8 cm (104 x 101 1/2 in.)
Provenance
Ross Whistler, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Ross Whistler
Accession Year
1951
Object Number
1951.33
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This tapestry is a fragment of a larger hanging showing figures in a wooded landscape. It has been cut down on the left, top and possibly also on the right. In the foreground, a female figure in floating garments approaches a bearded man. The female figure has a distinct all'antica flavor and is likely based on the relief of an ancient sarcophagus (Joos Vander Auwera, conversation 10/16/2007). Because the tapestry was cut down, it is difficult to identify the subject. On the left, we see a fragmented composition showing a seated man blowing a trumpet and part of a standing man raising a stick. In the background a man is captured by two soldiers and is led into a tower. This scene may depict the arrest of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, but it is impossible to know for sure. The limited palette of blues, greens and yellows combined with the Italianate figures and classical references are typical of tapestry production in Oudenaarde in the mid 16th century. The tapestry border is a patchwork. It appears that only the bottom border is original, demonstrated by the overlapping feet. The bottom border shows oak leaves interwoven with fruits together with birds and a young putto. Although the top border matches the bottom one in design, it is not integral to the tapestry. It is slightly darker than the bottom part and doesn't match the central panel. The left border is also a later addition. It shows two different fragments depicting oak leaves interwoven with fruits. The right border contains bouquets of flowers, fruits and oak leaves set in antique vases. All the border fragments were woven in Oudenaarde in the 16th century.

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu