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Garden of love with a pavilion, wall hanging

Key data

Basle, ca. 1490

Wool tapestry, three fragments, of height 95 cm, width 50 51 cm

height 103 cm, width 131 cm

height 98 cm, width 78 cm

Inv. 1870.741.


The central scene of the tapestry shows the summertime pursuits of people in courtly dress in a sumptuous garden setting. The flowers are botanically recognisable and have symbolic meanings linked with love and thereby sorrow. A pavilion provides shade. The pennants and awning carry the coats of arms of the Basle families zem Lufft and Meyer zum Pfeil. Inside a noble couple sit on a wooden bench and play cards on a stone table. A youth tends to their bodily well being by pouring a drink into a beaker. A precious goblet stands on the table next to a fruit basket and a radish. Yet the tranquillity of summer is deceptive: there is an erotic tension which is reinforced by the figures on the damaged fragments to either side. Playing his last card the young man surrenders himself to the lady with the words, "den. us. wurf. hand. ihr. wohl. besunnen." (That last play of yours was well considered), and she proudly confirms, "Do. mit. han. ich. das. spil. gewunnen." (Herewith I have won the game).

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