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Tapestry: Jupiter Transformed into Diana to Take Advantage of Callisto with Vertumnus and Pomona, from the Hangings of François Boucher Series
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Woven at the Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory; after painting by François Boucher, painter
French, Paris, 1775 - 1778
Wool and silk
12 ft. 7 in. x 20 ft. 6 in.
71.DD.466

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This tapestry contains two scenes taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses. At first glance, both scenes appear to show two female lovers in a wooded landscape. But the goddess of the hunt on the left actually represents the god Jupiter, who has taken the form of Diana in order to seduce one of her followers. The eagle with thunderbolts in its claws, a symbol of Jupiter, is a clue to his presence.

On the right, an old woman in heavy robes is really Vertumnus, the god of orchards, disguised in order to enter the garden of Pomona, the young goddess of gardens. Identified by her attributes of fruit, flowers, and a watering can, she suspects nothing and dreamily listens to Vertumnus, who sits beside her.

Imitating paintings, these roundels are set in oval frames, with the artist François Boucher's signature woven into the right scene. A decorative setting known as an alentours surrounds the two simulated paintings. As in the other tapestries in this set, thick garlands of flowers, exotic birds, and metalwork vases fill this border. Musical and hunting trophies hang beneath each roundel.

The tapestry is based on designs by Maurice Jacques, Louis Tessier, and Jacques Neilson.

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