Tapestry 'Luna, Mercury, Venus, Sol, Time woven in wool and silk, Oudenaarde, 1601
Tapestry woven in wool and silk. Long and narrow with a border of Renaissance-style ornament based on classical palmette designs, and divided into a series of five scenes by Corinthian columns. At a point in the lower border, it has been patched with two similar borders from the right hand end of this panel and been added on, so that in these two panels we have four right-hand end borders.
The scenes from left to right are as follows:
The first scene, Luna, shows Diana holding a horn in her left hand and in her right is a crescent. She carries a quiver. Diana is being drawn by two nymphs in a chariot in the clouds in the centre of the sky. With her is the sign of Cancer. Below the main scene has men fishing with nets in a pool cut off from the sea by a sluice gate. Men and women on the bank are carrying fish in baskets. Beyond the sluice gate is a quay and men are seen fishing with a net on the shore.
The second scene has Mercury wearing a winged hat and sandals, he carries a caduceus in his right hand, and is being drawn though the clouds in the centre of the sky in a chariot to which are harnessed two cocks. With him are two signs of the zodiac, Gemini and Virgo. The main scene below is divided into two principal subjects. On the left is a quay where ships are being loaded and unloaded, and merchandise of all kinds is seen. There is a large crane at one place. In the foreground are groups of men engaged in discussing business matters. In the central foreground on a balcony is a large table at which are seated bankers and astronomers. On the right is a woman playing an organ and behind her is a painter and sculptor at work.
The next scene shows Venus carrying an arrow in her left hand, and accompanied by Cupid, is being drawn through the clouds in the centre of the sky in a chariot, to which a pair of doves is harnessed. With her are two signs of the zodiac, Taurus and Libra. The main scene shows a wooded landscape on the banks of a river just outside a town. Under the trees are men and women having a picnic and listening to music.
The fourth scene is Sol represented as a king with crown and sceptre, and he is seated in a chariot drawn through clouds in the centre of the sky drawn by a pair of horses. With him is the sign of Leo. Below the main scene has a man engaged in sport. There is tilting, broad-sword fighting, a contest with shield and scimitars, a competition between boys standing on their heads, a group of acrobats standing on one another, a party of men playing bouts, and men wrestling. In the background on the right is a king and queen standing on a balcony looking at the sports.
The last scene has the subject of Time. Time is represented by a bearded figure with wings flying through the clouds with a scythe in his hands and an hour glass on his head. In the centre of the main scene are Mars and Venus as a pair of classical divinities. Mars holds a sword and Venus caresses Cupid. Behind Mars are drums, cannons,pikes, muskets, banners and other military equipment. In the background is a party of soldiers with a camp of tents before the walls of a city. Behind Venus is a house with a porch approached by a flight of steps on each side. Before it stands an obelisk and an elaborate fountain with a statue on the top. Behind Venus is a pile of various objects, a mitre, a mask, a metal basin and an ewer with a towel, a lute, two strong boxes, a retort, a barrel, a crown and sceptre and other jewels resting on velvet on a table, and anchors.