Gathering Grapes

Gathering Grapes

Plate no. 387. Children Gathering Grapes, a Renaissance tapestry in the Royal Spanish Collection, signed with the monogram of Willem Van Pannemaker. An exquisite design exquisitely woven, interesting to compare with a tapestry on the same subject owned by Mr. George Salting, illustrated by Thomson opposite page 246.

First I call attention to the woven frame that encircled the whole of the original tapestry - a brick frame with floriation outside. The frame was of great assistance in establishing the exact attribution of the tapestry, and in arranging the scenes in their proper relative positions. By a convention peculiar to the period it represents the tapestry as seen from below on the right, and it accomplishes this by revealing fully the inside of the brick frame above and on the left, and less fully the inside of the brick frame below, while the inside of the brick frame on the right is not visible at all. In other words the inside surfaces of the brick frame are represented as turned slightly up and to the left. The visible inside surfaces of this frame, above and on the left, are accentuated by bright-coloured jewels.

Plate no. 389. The Childhood and Youth of Hercules.

Plate no. 389. The Childhood and Youth of Hercules. Gothic tapestry without border, 3.60 metres by 5, brought S5400 at the Somzée sale in 1901. On the extreme left, the birth of Hercules. His mother Alcmena in bed is designated by the lettered band. In the upper left hand corner of the tapestry the first exploit of Hercules. While still in the cradle he strangles two dragons sent by Juno to kill him; to the right, he is learning to shoot with bow and arrow. Still farther to the right, he takes part in a tourney. Below, Hercules presents himself before Eurystheus, who in accordance with the Oracles of Delphi, imposed upon him the Twelve Labors.

The original complete tapestry began on the left with the Baptism in Jordan above and XV century Baptism below - the latter originally facing the other side out so that the brick frame and floriated border showed on the left instead of on the right. The inscription at present over Baptism in Jordan consists of two of the original inscriptions sewed together, the last third referring to Baptism and the first two-thirds to Confirmation {Restored to their proper position in plates nos. 46 and 47). The old French of the missing part of the Confirmation inscription has been filled out by me (See the number of the Burlington mentioned above), so that the whole reads (translated):

"In order that mortals may surrender themselves to strength, prelates give them confirmation and tonsure, and similar holy offices. The patriarch Jacob did this, who placed his hands on two children".

The fragment of the inscription referring to Baptism reads: "Writers of scripture," "by holy baptism purified," "water of Jordan washed," with the first two-thirds of the three lines missing.

The last two subjects of the tapestry are Marriage and Extreme Unction. These sacraments in their origin are shown in the still united scenes labelled the Marriage of Adam and Eve, and King David receiving the Unction of Honor. The XV century celebration of these two sacraments is shown in the two scenes labelled Marriage and Extreme Unction - mounted wrong side out, but reversed to their original position on plates nos. I and 2. The two inscriptions read:

Tapestries At The Metropolitan Museum 167Plate no. 391. The Months January and March, two Gobelin Early XVIII century tapestries after XVI century Months of Lucas tapestries.

Plate no. 391. The Months January and March, two Gobelin Early XVIII century tapestries after XVI century Months of Lucas tapestries. January is now in a Swedish private collection and belonged to a set, one of which in the Christiania Art Industry Museum is signed I S (Jean Souet), manager of one of the low warp shops at the Gobelins (1699-1724). March bears in the top cartouche the arms of Poland, and in the corners the monogram S R of the Polish King, Stanislas.

"And Extreme Unction, which against temptation by its virtue gives strength, was instituted by the unction of honour given at Hebron to King David to increase his power".

"The sacrament of marriage, by which the human race multiplies, was instituted by God, when he created Adam and from his rib formed Eve, who was of women the first and sweetheart to Adam".

Note how a round Gothic column with jewelled capital separates the last two sacraments, in both the upper and the lower series. The other scenes were similarly separated, as shown by the column on the right of Baptism in Jordan, and on the left of XV century Marriage.

Note also the brick frame above the upper series of Marriage and Extreme Unction and below the lower series, and at the right of both, and how this brick frame gives the point of view of the spectator as below on the right.

All the personages in all the scenes are beautifully backgrounded with a damask pattern that sets them strongly forth, while underfoot is a tiled floor, - except in Baptism where floriation and water take its place. Fascinating and decorative to a wonderful degree is the floriation outside the brick frame of Baptism and below the brick frame of the last two scenes. Fascinating, too, is the way the flori-ation creeps up over the brick frame of XV century Marriage.

Plate no. 393. Saint Paul before Agrippa and Berenice, a Renaissance tapestry in the Royal Spanish Collection.