The episode is taken from the story of Vertumnus and Panoma as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, book XIV. Vertumnus, god of the changing seasons, falls in love with Pamona, a goddess of fruits and harvests. To win her heart, he visits her garden in various disguises. Pamona disdains his preesnce...
The episode is taken from the story of Vertumnus and Panoma as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, book XIV. Vertumnus, god of the changing seasons, falls in love with Pamona, a goddess of fruits and harvests. To win her heart, he visits her garden in various disguises. Pamona disdains his preesnce until he appears finally as an old woman and tells her the heartbreaking tale of the tragic love of Iphis and Anaxarete. Finally Vertumnus throws off his disguise and embraces the softened Pomona. The scene takes place within a garden elaborately divided by a system of walks and pergolas. The pergola in the immediate foreground shows three bays. The first and third bays have lintels carrying rich foliage, wreaths encircling eagles below heads of Apollo, cornucopiae, figures of putti and birds. A cusped arch, decorated with garlands and figures of fauns, covers the central bay. Other colonnades and arches join with these to form two parallel, vaulted pergolas with domed canopies over the central bays. A formal garden, with a fountain of gilt figures on the central axis, stretches into the distance beyond the pergolas. Vertumnus, disguised as a fisherman, appears in the foreground at the left. He walks toward Pamona who stands in the right foreground and turns to look at him. Two draped boys carry a basket of fruit into the central bay, having approached a child who places them into a basket. The border is very wide and shows different ornaments in each section. Garlands of fruit, with birds standing between them, decorate the upper border which is only half as wide as the other three borders. The side borders show figures in niches only half as wide as the other three borders. The side borders show figures in niches at the centers : Victory, holding a palm branch and a laurel or olive crown, at the left; Frame, winged and holding two horns to her mouth, at the right. There are bouquets and garlands of fruit above and below the niches. The lower border shows aquatic scenes involving mermen and mermaids, fishes, turtles, and water deities. In each upper corner there is a single cartouche containing a putto, and in each lower corner there is a cartouche containing a double-tailed mermaid. Wool and silk yarns. Moderate fading, some repairs. Four repaired cuts through border to field, cut warps between field and border on both sides. Modern guard band.
1926, Seidlitz and Van Baarn (dealer), New York; 1926, sold by Seidlitz and Van Baarn to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest B. Dane, Brookline, MA; 1948, gift of Mrs. Ernest B. Dane to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 13, 1948)
Gift of Mrs. Ernest B. Dane
Flemish, Second half of the 16th or first quarter of the 17th century