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Venus seeks vengence on Psyche

Tapestry
1555-1565 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This tapestry probably belonged to a set of sixteen, though some are now untraceable. The subject is Venus seeking vengence on Psyche, from the story of Cupid and Psyche, as related by the Latin author Lucius Apuleius in the Golden Ass. The story was a favourite pictorial theme during the Renaissance.

Venus is shown asking for help from the goddesses Juno and Ceres, and from the God Jupiter above. She is scheming for vengence on the beautiful mortal Psyche, who her son Cupid has fallen in love with.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Tapestry woven in wool and silk
Brief Description
Tapestry, 'Venus seeks vengence on Psyche', designed by Giovanni Battista Castello, probably Brussels, 1555-65
Physical Description
wool and silk on a wool warp:18-20 warps to the inch.
Dimensions
  • Proper right height: 3610mm
  • Estimated (1msq 1.2kg) weight: 14kg
  • Top edge width: 3200mm
  • Bottom edge width: 3200mm
  • Proper left height: 3600mm
  • Weight of object on roller, weight of roller 21kg weight: 31kg
  • Weight of object weight: 10kg
Credit line
Given by Dowager Viscountess Harcourt GBE
Object history
This tapestry was given to the museum along with several other tapestries, T.767 - T.775-1950, by the Dowager Viscountess Harcourt, G.B.E. (R.P.: 50/2906). The tapestry and two others from the same series, which are also in the museum's collection, originally came from a set of approximately sixteen tapestries. They used to hang in room 21.



photographed and measured as part of Advanced Works project, 03/03/2017
Subject depicted
Literary ReferenceApuleius, Lucius, <i>Golden Ass</i>
Summary
This tapestry probably belonged to a set of sixteen, though some are now untraceable. The subject is Venus seeking vengence on Psyche, from the story of Cupid and Psyche, as related by the Latin author Lucius Apuleius in the Golden Ass. The story was a favourite pictorial theme during the Renaissance.



Venus is shown asking for help from the goddesses Juno and Ceres, and from the God Jupiter above. She is scheming for vengence on the beautiful mortal Psyche, who her son Cupid has fallen in love with.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Clifford, Timothy, 'Designs of Desire: Architectural and Ornamental Prints and Drawings, 1500-1850', National Galleries of Scotland, 1999, p. 63.
  • G.F. Wingfield Digby, 'The Tapestry Collection:Medieval and Renaissance', London: HMSO, 1980, p.50, plate 60.
  • Clifford, Timothy, 'G.B. Castello's designs for the 'Cupid and Psyche' tapestries, in Burlington, April 1975:234-238.
  • Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt catalogue, 1992, no.192, pl.198
Collection
Accession Number
T.772-1950

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record createdMay 29, 2009
Record URL