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The Departure, from The Story of Theagenes and Chariclea series
The Departure, from The Story of Theagenes and Chariclea series
Workshop Of:
ca. 1634–1635
Not on display
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
414 x 416.6 cm (163 x 164 in.)
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
Credit Line:

Gift of Henry K.S. Williams

Exhibition History:

Crystal Springs School for Girls, Hillsborough, California, 1973
Simon Vouet, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1990-91

The elaborate chimney and furnishings of the room depicted recall interiors engraved by Abraham Bosse, although no exact parallel has been found. Caravaggesque shadows from the flickering candlelight and the fire on the hearth create an air of secrecy and intimacy. A night scene is unusual in tapestry, and unprecedented in Vouet’s Parisian period. The panel is presumed to represent the moment when Theagenes swears “by Apollo of Delphi, and Diana, and Venus herself, and all the gods of love,” that he would act in accordance with Chariclea’s wishes, as they prepare to depart for Egypt, Chariclea’s homeland. The open door leads the eye to the adjoining table where a horse is groomed by candlelight. 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): 238.