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Tapestry "Dragon devouring eggs" (Animal Landscape series)

Carton by Jean II Tons or Pieter Coecke van Aelst the Younger (1502-1550), environment painter
Brussels, weaving workshop of Jan II Raes (1570-1643) and Catherine van den Eynde (d. before 1629), widow of Jacob (Jacques) Goebbels I (d. 1605), early 17th century (1611-1617)
455 × 315 cm
Signature: 'Armorial Shield B' to the left of the lower border strip, 'B', and 'GA', the signature of the Geubels workshop, to the right of the border strip, below the centre
The foreground of the verdiura is composed of herbaceous plants on a larger scale, depicted in a naturalistic manner. The central figure of the surviving part of the fabric - a winged dragon devouring eggs in a pit - is seen slightly higher up at the left edge of the composition. The figure of the fantastic animal allowed the artist to convey many different textures: the webbed feet, the wings resembling the fins of a fish, the fur-covered body, and the ornamented tail of a slug. 
The emotional tension of the composition is also created by the trunks of the spreading trees in the centre and on the right side, covered with rough bark and moss, wrapped in lush vegetation, as well as the massive roots, with animals in the background. In the background of the dark cavity that opens up beneath the roots of the trees, there is a preserved part of the figure of a cockerel - a tufted head facing the kerb with a delicately ornamented crest. An otter is depicted slightly below with its head raised. 
The purchased fabric is part of a larger composition. The right part of the tapestry is most likely lost, as indicated by the noticeably cut animal figures on this side.
A wide border surrounds the tapestry. The lower part of the tapestry bears the mark of the City of Brussels, 'Shield of arms B' (on the left), and the mark of the Gebels weaving workshop, 'GA' (on the right).
Jacob, Jacques I Geubels (1585-1605) founded the workshop where the tapestries were woven. After his death, his widow, Catherine van den Eynde (who died before 1629), took over the workshop. Under her direction, the series to which the acquired tapestry belongs is believed to have been woven. At that time (1613), her workshop was listed among Brussels's nine best tapestry weavers.
The Lithuanian National Museum of Art acquired the tapestry on 15 June 2006 for the future Palace Museum at the antique shop "Franco Dell'Orto s.r.l." (Venice, Italy). In 2009, the exhibit was handed over to the National Museum for the Grand Ducal Palace of Lithuania.
Information prepared by Ieva Kuizinienė
Photographer Mindaugas Kaminskas
Inv. No VR-123
Published:: 2024-05-02 13:27 Modified: 2024-05-02 13:29
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