Search the Collections

Diana Typifying Earth, from The Seasons and the Elements series
Diana Typifying Earth, from The Seasons and the Elements series
Date:
ca. 1784
Location:
Not on display
Century:
Media:
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
Dimensions:
357.3 x 266.7 cm (140 11/16 x 105 in.)
Object Type:
Country:
Continent:
Europe
Provenance:

possibly sent by Louis XVI to Prince Henry of Prussia, 1784

Accession Number:
1926.79
Acquisition Date:
1926-07-19
Credit Line:

Gift of Archer M. Huntington

Exhibition History:

Les Portieres des Dieux, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1972
New Look to Now, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum, 1989 - 1991
Gallery 9 Rotation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1990 - 1991
European Masterworks from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Japan, 1992

Diana is presented in this panel as huntress, rather than as Earth goddess. She is surrounded by hunting attributes that enliven the alentour. Birds of prey perch above the portico, and javelins are crossed above the head of the deity. Diana holds a greyhound on a leash, and another sits on the left console. The body of a deer is tied by its foot to the right console. Pendant attributes hang from laurel branches: hunting horns, nets, stakes, and arrows. A splendid stag’s head, its antlers crowned with leaves, tops the pedestal below the goddess, part of a trophy with bows and arrows, nets, and spears. The stag’s head is still the focus of the attack. Two hunting dogs leap up toward it from the pedestal base; the naked child at right aims an arrow, the child at left a javelin. A hunting horn and quiver lie below the feet of the dogs. The cartouche at top, center, and tablets hanging at the sides are blank, although they show symbols in the other panels from this set. The important variation is in the figure of the goddess herself. In the three preceding panels, the deity was presented frontally, cloud-borne beneath her portico, with a symbolic object in her hand. The Diana of this panel differs both in format and in feeling from her predecessors. She is seen in profile, fully clothed and heavily draped. Her bow and quiver lie at her feet. From Anna Gray Bennett, "Five Centuries of Tapestry: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco" (San Francisco: Chronicle Books; The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1976; repr. 1992): p. 250.