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Vertumnus in disguise as a farmer', A Flemish Mythological Tapestry, from The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, Brussels, workshop of Jacob I Geubels and Jan I Raes, from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book 14: 623-771)

first quarter 17th century

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58
Vertumnus in disguise as a farmer', A Flemish Mythological Tapestry, from The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, Brussels, workshop of Jacob I Geubels and Jan I Raes, from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book 14: 623-771)

first quarter 17th century

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Vertumnus in disguise as a farmer', A Flemish Mythological Tapestry, from The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, Brussels, workshop of Jacob I Geubels and Jan I Raes, from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book 14: 623-771)

first quarter 17th century

depicting Vertumnus in disguise as a farmer and Pomona, with dancing cupids and a lion in the foreground, and dancing satyrs in the background, set within an elaborate marbled and columned portico setting with detailed trellis work overhead, and formal gardens extending into the distance, within a deep elaborate architectural four sided border with strapwork corners centred with masks and bearded figures, the centre of the lower border with a scallop-shell centred with lion head, flanked by dolphins, with narrow blue selvedge with ribbed detail; with the Geubels weaver's mark


approximately 372cm high, 454cm wide; 12ft. 2in., 14ft. 10in.
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Catalogue Note

The present panel of `Vertumnus disguised as a farmer', has the same central section of the satyrs dancing within the central portico, and the putti climbing into the marbled foreground terrace, as a framed tapestry of just this central section, from the Pannemaker series with the acanthus border with gold ground entablature, with text `Piscator Arvndine svmpta est', which does not have the small dog in the foreground (see Catàlogo de Tapices del Patrimonio Nacional, Vol.I, opcit. Serie 18: Vertumno y Pomona, Paño VII, Vertumno transformado en pescador, pg.132.). The other fragments with this panel in Madrid, are of a narrow section from the left of the original panel, showing Vertumnus with his fishing rod, and another narrow panel from the right side of the original panel, showing Pomona and her pruning knife.

Another weaving of the panel of `Vertumnus as a fisherman', matches up in design of the figures and the superstructure and arbour above to the panel cited above from Madrid (ibid. pg.132.), illustrated in Adolph Cavallo, Tapestries of Europe and Colonial Peru in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1967, Vol. I text, Part III – 1550-1700: Brussels, Enghien, Grammont, Paris, Germany, Denmark & Holland (catalogue numbers 27-43), pp-105-143, No. 32 Vertumnus disguised as a fisherman, pp.115-118; Vol II, colour plate 32. The border type of this tapestry has inspiration of `elements' border motifs, with elaborate strapwork corner motifs, standing allegorical side figures, and a top narrower border with a pendant fruit and floral swag. The panel is also illustrated in Thomas Campbell, Tapestry in the Baroque, Threads of Splendour, Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition, New York, October 17, 2007-January 6, 2008; and at the Palacio Real, Madrid, March 6-June 1, 2007, Yale University Press 2002; Story of Vertumnus and Pomona (c.1610) (from second generation cartoons based on originals by Pieter Coecke van Aelst) – possibly woven by Reymbouts, Brussels – from collections in Brussels and Boston); Vertumnus disguised as a fisherman (Boston), 71, 73; black and white fig. 41 (Gift of Mrs Ernst B Dane).

The Boston panel, after cartoons attributed to Jan Cornelisz, and a probable attribution to the workshop of Maarten Reymbouts, due to the existence of another panel of a different episode, that of `Vertumnus disguised as a fruit picker/gardener' (with a ladder), within the same border type and almost identical heights, which has this weaver's marks (see Marthe Crick Kuntziger, Musée Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire de Bruxelles Catalogue des Tapisseries, circa 1954, Vertumne et Pomone, no. 50, pp.56-57, pl.57).  Reymbouts, were a family of Brussels weavers active from the 15th through to the 17th century, and under Martin II (d.1618) the workshop produced numerous re-weavings/editions of earlier sets, such as Fructus Belli, Life of Moses and Life of Jacob, and Vertumnus and Pomona. 

An identical tapestry panel, with the same orientation of all the figures, being from the later 17th century series of tapestries, in a different border type, described as `Vertumnus disguised as a warrior', bears the weaver's marks of both Jan I Raes and Jacob I Geubels, first quarter 17th century (Kulturhistorisches Museum, Magdeburg). The border type is an exuberant scrolling foliate trail incorporating putti and term figures in gold and red, with a distinctive gold and blue narrow outer border (illustrated Guy Delmarcel, Nicole de Reyniès & Wendy Hefford, The Toms Collection Tapestries– 16th to 19th centuries, Ed. Giselle Eberhard Cotton, Foundation Toms Pauli, Lausanne, Verlag Niggli AG, Zurich, 2010, Chp. I: The Flemish Tapestries, Guy Delmarcel, Tapestries from the series The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, Cat.23-24, pp.72-78, fig.23.2.  Also illustrated in Göbel, Heinrich, Die Wandteppiche, 1923, Part I, Vol.ii.fig.104.

There are two panels in the Toms Collection, Lausanne, which compare with the Magdeburg panel cited above, in date and with the same border type of the exuberant scrolling foliate, and they are panels depicting, `Vertumnus disguised as an old woman embracing Pomona', and `Vertumnus disguised as a pedlar' (The Toms Collection, opcit. colour plates, cat.23 & 24, pp.76-77). They are attributed to the Brussels workshop of Jan I Raes, first quarter 17th century, after a model from around 1545, and the panel of `Vertumnus disguised as an old woman embracing Pomona', has the Geubels weaver's mark. A further two panels from this weaving of the series, depicting `Vertumnus disguised as a reaper' and `Vertumnus and Pomona embracing', both bearing the weaver's marks of both Jan I Raes and Jacob I Geubels, are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Gift from Mrs William Dexter; previously purchased in 1889 by the collector Ffoulke, Washington, from Prince Barberini, Rome), (ibid, black and white plates, figs. 23.1&23.3, pp.72-73).

A recorded tapestry from this series within an identical border type, depicting `Vertumnus as a fruit picker' (approx. 350cm. high, 380cm. wide), is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille. It is woven with the figures of Vertumus and Pomona quite close together in the centre of the composition. The design has a less ornate architectural surround, simpler terrace design strewn with plants, and small animals and not the marble flooring. It has an overhead superstructure of shelves draped with foliage held up by four simple term figures, and incorporates detailed formal background gardens. It is attributed to designs by Jan Cornelis Vermeyen,  early 17th century (illustrated, Jacqueline Boccara, Ames de laine et de soie, Édition d'art Monelle Hayot, 1988, Chp. Parcs et Jardin, pp.246-287, Vertumne et Pomone, pp.248-251, colour plate pg. 251.

Another tapestry series woven by the workshop of Jacob Geubels and his wife Katharina van den Eynde, has the identical border type to that of the present set of four mythological tapestries from the series of `Vertumnus and Pomona'. The comparable series is from The Classical Story of Decius Mus, and the panels have the same striations to the original blue selvedge and bear the weaver's marks. See Paulina Junquera de Vega, Concha Herrero Carretero, Catàlogo de Tapices del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1986, Vol. II, Siglio XVII, Serie 53, Paño I-V, pp.98-103.

See lot 55 for extended footnote and literature for lots 55-58.

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