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    Sale 7623

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 519

    A FLEMISH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY

    MID-16TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY AUDENARDE

    Price Realised  

    A FLEMISH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY
    MID-16TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY AUDENARDE
    Woven in wools, probably depicting 'The Judgment of Paris' with Venus, Juno and Athena seated to the centre and Jupiter to the right, the left with Paris and Mercury, with Eris above and Oenone, Oeneus and Paris to the background in a wooded landscape with town beyond, within a foliate border with winged putti to the angles, areas of restoration and reweaving, throughout some highlighting with surface colouring
    10 ft. 4 in. x 14 ft. 9 in. (315 cm. x 440 cm.)


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    Paris was to marry Oenone, daughter of the rivergod Oeneus. Eris, the goddess of Strife, threw a golden apple inscribed 'To the Fairest' into the wedding crowd because she was the only goddess not invited to the wedding. Jupiter declined to choose among the three claimants and instead asked Paris for his choice. The three goddesses Juno, Venus and Athena all tried to bribe him but it was Venus who won as she promised to reward him with the love of any woman he chose and described Helen of Troy to him. He subsequently sailed to Sparta to abduct Helen and so began the Trojan War.

    A set of four tapestries of a mythological subject entitled Planets with similar borders and a closely related treatment of the figures is at Holyroodhouse and illustrated in M. Swain, Tapestries and Textiles at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, 1988, cats. 7a-d, pp. 29-32.

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