Abundantia, from The Four Continents and Related Allegories

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After a cartoon by Lodewijk van Schoor (died 1702) and Pieter Spierinckx (1635–1711)
Woven at the workshop of Albert Auwercx (1629–1709)
Flanders, Brussels

Abundantia, from The Four Continents and Related Allegories, c. 1680/1700

Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
371.2 x 382.5 cm (146 1/8 x 150 1/2 in.)
Gift of Benjamin E. Bensinger, III, 1962.462

In this tapestry, part of a Four Continents and Related Allegories set, Abundantia, a female personification of abundance, sits on a horn of plenty overflowing with fruit, surrounded by three female attendants, each representing a continent. The kneeling woman crowned with a circlet of blossoms, offering a basket of flowers and fruit, personifies Asia. The dark-skinned woman bearing a horn of plenty full of sheaves of grain represents Africa. The third attendant, who wears a feathered headdress and displays gold, silver, and pearls, can be identified as America. The attributes of all four figures are based on Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia (1593), and their depiction exemplifies the early style of their designer, Lodewijck van Schoor: they have elongated bodies, small heads, long noses, and broad arms and legs, and though they gesture dramatically, their poses are formulae repeated throughout the set.

— Exhibition label, The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries, November 1, 2008–January 4, 2009, Regenstein Hall.