Friday, October 31, 2014

A Simple Tapestry . . .

God Accuses Adam and Eve after the Fall (ca. 1648)
(Click Image to Enlarge)
Pieter Coecke van Aelst
(August 14, 1502 - December 6, 1550)
Photo by Bruce White

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art is displaying a beautiful exhibition titled "Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry" (October 8, 2014 - January 11, 2015). I especially like this scene depicting Adam clothed with a natural thong of what looks like a vine - but ought to be fig leaves - accusing Eve of the tresspass. God, by contrast, is clothed in a glowing red robe - and the serpent is clothed in its own red, white, and blue skin! In the distance - representing the future, but not the distant future - God clothes the two fallen humans with animal skins. I wonder what sort of animal (not the serpent, obviously, though that would have been appropriate), and why is God robed in red - has he been trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored? Most amazing of all, this image isn't painted, but woven!

Milton's serpent, incidently, is also colorful in PL 9.499-501:
. . . his Head
Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes;
With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold
Different colors, of course, but this leads me to wonder about traditions concerning the serpent's coloring . . .

Anyway, go and see this exhibition for yourself.

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At 5:39 AM, Blogger Dario Rivarossa said...

Another very fine work of First-Man's-ship! Thanks.

As for the red robe, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was one of the standard colors for the Divine (though, honestly, almost any color could be justified, in one way or another: gold, white, blue, . . .) See Giotto's Christs, or Michelangelo's Creator in the Sistine Chapel, though the latter's robe is in a kind of rose rather than true red.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Dario, for the coloration!

Jeffery Hodges

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