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Gift of William Walker II
The subject of this tapestry is the contentment and serenity of country life. An airy structure thatched with straw is sheltered by tree tops at right. Far below, a young woman rests in the shade. Her companion points toward the pond; his houlette identifies him as a shepherd. Five of his sheep have strayed near the water’s edge. In the mid-distance, the pond is spanned by a rustic bridge on which a man and an animal are barely visible. The road sweeps steeply upward from the dog at the landing to the round tower and other buildings that crown the hill. The colors are light; the contours pleasing. All the elements of the ensemble are consciously picturesque. Shell and fan shapes fill the border. The mark in the border guard stands for Manufacture Royale d’Aubusson, followed by the initials of the weaver, A.G. These initials may have belonged to a member of the Grellet family, prominent weavers of Aubusson. 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. 272.