probably depicting Ceres from a series of 'The Triumphs of the Gods', with Brussels town mark and weaver's mark AVWERCX on the right side of lower selvage
At the end of the 17th century, the last great generation of Brussels weavers turned to designs employing more playful forms, moving away from severe Baroque historical and mythological subjects and towards a lighter Régence style. Narrative series became more relaxed, sometimes comprising a loose compilation of associated subjects, which could be chosen according to a customers wishes. The present tapestry seems to belong to a group of The Triumphs of the Gods, showing Ceres as the earth mother appearing on a bank of clouds amidst a scene of agricultural abundance. It was perhaps designed by Jan van Orley and Augustin Coppens, painters who supplied many such cartoons to the late Brussels workshops.
Note that an almost identical version of this design was sold at Christie's London, November 6, 2008, lot 557, there mistakenly identified as the one sold at Sotheby's New York in 1995, which is the present lot. For the other examples of the series see G. Delmarcel, Flemish Tapestry, Tielt, 1999, pp. 305-331.
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