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Franz van den Planken and Marc Coomans, Diana before Jupiter
Biblical - Historical - Mythologic
early-mid 17th century
Material and technique
wool and silk
415 x 628 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
This enormous tapestry, measuring six and a half metres, depicts Diana asking Jupiter for revenge against the sacrilegious Niobe or imploring for the gift of eternal virginity. Behind her a handmaiden holds back the greyhounds that were dear to the goddess of the hunt. On the left, in front of a temple with imposing spiral columns, the figures of Ceres, Bacchus, Hercules, Apollo,  Minerva and Juno appear. On the right-hand side, instead, we see Mars, Mercury, Venus and Cupid. In the distance, a circular temple, inspired by the harmonious architecture of the Italian Renaissance, stands in a pleasant landscape.
The panel was woven around 1625 and is the second in the notable series dedicated to the story of Diana, originally consisting of ten pieces. Several reproductions of the series were made from 1608 by the workshop of the Grande Galerie du Louvre, which introduced the low-warp technique used in Flemish tapestry weaving.  The late-Mannerist French painter Toussaint Dubreuil (1561-1602) provided the drawings for the cycle and the Flemish weavers Franz van den Planken and Marc Coomans produced the magnificent tapestry version. As in the tapestry described above, the lower border of the panel bears the mark of the van den Planken workshop next to the French fleur-de-lys.
Diana before Jupiter
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