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Garden of False Learning from The Table of Cebes

Embroidered picture "The Garden of False Learning". France, second half 16th century. Embroidered picture "The Garden of False Learning". France, second half 16th century. Copyright Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 42.193.2.

This large and monumental embroidery on canvas is worked in wool and silk. It is based on a woodcut, dated 1547, by the German artist, David Kandel of Strasbourg (c. 1520 - c. 1596). The techniques that are used are the cross stitch and tent stitch. It measures 280 x 388.9 cm.

The panel represents a scene from the Tabula Cebetis. This is a treatise that was often used in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe as a Latin reader. It was for a long time ascribed to Cebes, a pupil of Socrates. The treatise describes a painting in the Temple of Saturn in Thebes, which showed life's arduous journey. This embroidery and its original woodcut represent the scene whereby the main character is enticed to stray off the right path by a woman who represents False Learning.

The large scale of the embroidery is a clear, less expensive imitation of the equally large woven tapestries.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, online catalogue (retrieved 2 November 2016).

WV

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 19:33