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The Ostriches
The Ostriches
Date:
ca. 1570
Location:
Not on display
Century:
Media:
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
Dimensions:
342.9 x 307.3 cm (135 x 121 in.)
Object Type:
Country:
Continent:
Europe
Culture/People:
Flemish
Accession Number:
3748
Acquisition Date:
1895-11-20
Credit Line:

California Midwinter International Exposition

Exhibition History:

Five Centuries of Tapestry, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1976
Midwinter Fair Centenary, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum, 1994

Two ostriches of monumental size are arranged like a habitat group in a natural history museum. The nearer one stares fixedly at her eggs, which lie uncovered amid the rich vegetation. The other, surprisingly simian, ignores the eggs and reaches up to taste the grapes hanging overhead. Tree trunks on either side frame a clearing in the mid-distances where ostriches strut in the sunlight. Delicate, Raphael-inspired grotesque elements form a border between two bands of interlacing ribbons. 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. 130.