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A BRUSSELS MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY
A BRUSSELS MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY

MID-17TH CENTURY

Details
A BRUSSELS MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY
Mid-17th Century
Woven in wools and silks, depicting the kneeling Cephalus throwing his spear towards his wife Procris hiding behind greenery, above them the nymph Dawn descending from the clouds, set within a wooded landscape, within a later blue outer slip, minor reweaving, reduced in size
9 ft. 1 in. x 4 ft. 4 in. (278 cm. x 133 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale in these Rooms, 30 October 1997, lot 228.

Lot Essay

Cephalus, newly and happily married to Procris, was carried away by Dawn, who cursed him when he rejected her reproaches. Cephalus started doubting Procris and, disguised with Dawn's help, he tried to seduce her. Only after many tries and with promises of wealth did she finally waver. He revealed his true identity and she fled to the mountains wracked with guilt. He repeatedly apologised and she finally came back with a dog and a javelin as a gift from Diana. They spent many happy years together. Cephalus went hunting alone nearly every day. During the mid-day heat he usually took a break in the shade and spoke to Zephyr, the cooling wind. A servant heard the loving words Cephalus spoke and believed that he was speaking to a Nymph and told Procris. She followed Cephalus the next day and lay behind greenery. He heard a rustling in the greenery, which he mistook for a beast and threw his unfailing javelin with its golden tip. She died in his arms.

A tapestry of identical subject was sold anonymously at Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Paris, 11 February 1991, lot 89.
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