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Tapestry - The Story of Bacchus

The Story of Bacchus

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Mortlake (possibly, made)
    Southern Netherlands (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1660-1699 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    tapestry woven in wool and silk

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at Houghton Hall, Norfolk

The three tapestries depicting scenes from the story of Bacchus are the only examples known of this design, and have unusual borders, which seem to have been designed especially for the series.

On loan to Houghton Hall.

Physical description

Tapestry hanging in wool and silk. The tapestry is hung behind a large bed, and so only a small area can be seen at the left and right sides. [it has probably been hung in this location since the 18th century, so there is no record of the whole tapestry having been seen]. The left side appears to show the preparation for sacrifice of a bull and the right a cloaked figure, in a woodland scene. The border design has satyrs and medallion busts of Bacchus and Ariadne, among swags of fruit.

Place of Origin

Mortlake (possibly, made)
Southern Netherlands (possibly, made)


1660-1699 (made)



Materials and Techniques

tapestry woven in wool and silk


height: 334 cm, width: 390 cm estimation

Object history note

It cannot at present be proved that this set of tapestries hung at Houghton Hall in the time of Sir Robert Walpole, but it is very likely. Walpole, in describing the Embroidered Bedchamber where the set now is, stated "the hangings are tapestry".

Descriptive line

Tapestry with unknown subject from the Story of Bacchus set, 1660-99


Wool; Silk (fiber)




Textiles and Fashion Collection

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