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Mercury Changes Aglauros to Stone, from the Story of Mercury and Herse RE912557

Mercury Changes Aglauros to Stone, from the Story of Mercury and Herse RE912557

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Mercury's Wrath: The Tragic Fate of Aglauros

In this captivating tapestry, attributed to the masterful hand of Giovanni Battista Lodi da Cremona, with the intricate border design attributed to Giovanni Francesco Penni, we witness the climactic conclusion to the tale of Mercury and Herse. Woven under the expert guidance of Willem de Pannemaker in a Flemish workshop, this masterpiece, designed around 1540 and woven circa 1570, now graces the halls of The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520.

Continuing the narrative from the preceding tapestry, "Aglauros's Vision of the Bridal Chamber of Herse," the scene unfolds with dramatic intensity. Enraged by Aglauros's jealous interference, Mercury, the swift-footed messenger of the gods, metes out divine justice with a swift and terrible transformation. As Aglauros defiantly bars his entry to her sister's apartments, Mercury's fury reaches its zenith, and in a gesture of divine retribution, he condemns her to an eternity of petrified solitude.

In the tapestry's haunting imagery, Aglauros begins her inexorable metamorphosis, her form slowly fading into the stone of the door-frame, a poignant testament to the destructive power of jealousy and hubris. Meanwhile, Mercury, depicted at the right, flees the scene, his longed-for union with Herse forever thwarted by the tragic consequences of Aglauros's actions.

The enduring allure of Lodi's designs is evident in the timeless quality of this tapestry series, its captivating narrative and exquisite craftsmanship captivating viewers across generations. Directed by the esteemed Willem de Pannemaker, this sumptuous edition stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classical mythology and the transcendent power of art to evoke emotion and provoke contemplation.

Mercury Changes Aglauros to Stone, from the Story of Mercury and Herse RE912557

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