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Style of Johannes Stradanus (Bruges 1523-Florence 1605)

May c.1568-78

RCIN 906854

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In this tapestry design, a large, arched pergola dominates a pleasure garden. The prototype for this pergola is the kind depicted in scenes of agricultural husbandry or of courtly pleasure gardens for the months of April and May in calendar books of hours. However, the functional medieval garden structure is transformed here into a feature of elegant, classical proportions similar to those which appear in Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. It befits a garden populated by classical gods, such as Mercury, the figure carrying a flowering olive branch in the centre.