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Master: The Story of Abraham Series
Item: The Separation of Abraham and Lot, Genesis Ch. 13, v. 8-9

Luxury hangings for royal residences


Mars and Venus c.1575

RCIN 28123

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This panel is from a series of Brussels tapestries known as 'The Planets'. In this scene, Mars embraces Venus, with two warriors standing behind them and two kneeling maidens and a youth playing instruments to the right. In the sky Jupiter is shown holding thunderbolts and seated on an eagle, with Mercury beside him holding a caduceus (a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it). The borders depict fruit, flowers and figures.

With three others from the series (RCINs 28120, 28121 and 28123), this panel probably hung in St James's Palace in the late-seventeeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. It was later sent from Hampton Court to the Palace of Holyroodhouse by Prince Albert (1819–1861), consort of Queen Victoria, in 1860. The series hung there in the private apartments until the panels were moved to the Great Stair sometime after 1918.