, , , , , , ,

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam re-opened last year after a long period of renovation. One of the bonuses is that a large part of their collection has been made available online.

One of the treasures found is this large, decorative wall tapestry (h 280 x w 270 cm), a so-called ‘verdure’. This tapestry was made by an anonymous Flemish artist in c.1550–c.1575.
Pattern: a plant with large thistle-like curled leaves, which houses birds, fills the central compartment. The golden-yellow light of the side edges is a set consisting of a vase, carried by two winged animal, a plant with large lancet-shaped leaves, long stems with rosette flowers, that extend to about the middle section, vine leaves and pumpkin like fruit. At the top and bottom edges as well on yellow ground ribbons, garlands with pumpkins and gourd-like fruit, cucumbers and grapes. In the middle of the upper edge a large gourd depends. Colour: greenish blue in different shades, the light areas and some flowers yellowish. [1]

In the central compartment five snails may be seen crawling on the leaves; two of them to the right (1, 3), three to the left (2, 4, 5). Three of the shells are right-coiling (1, 2, 3) and two left-coiling (4, 5). Snail 2 is directed leftwards but carries the shell in the wrong way to depict this naturally. All snails are stylised.

RMA BK-14553_

RMA BK-14553_detail

[1] RMA, BK-14553. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/BK-14553 (5.i.2014).