Autumn, from The Seasons

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After a design by Charles Le Brun (1619–1690)
Woven at the workshop of Etienne Le Blond (1652–1727) and Jean de La Croix (1628–1712) at the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins
France, Paris

Autumn, from The Seasons, 1700/20

Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
530.3 x 380.8 cm (208 3/4 x 150 in.)
Gift of the Hearst Foundation in memory of William Randolph Hearst, 1954.260

Autumn belongs to the eight-piece series entitled The Seasons. Designed by Charles Le Brun, First Painter to Louis XIV of France, half of the compositions present two deities associated with a particular season holding a wreath encircling an activity typical of that time of year, with a different royal building visible in the background. In this design, Diana and Bacchus float on a cloud, holding a floral wreath featuring a stag hunt. Diana, the goddess of the hunt, is identifiable by the bow, arrow, spear, and horn at her feet, and is an appropriate presence in this depiction of the hunting season. Bacchus is the god of wine, which explains his presence in a representation of autumn, the time of the grape harvest. Grapes and other fruits and vegetables associated with fall can be seen in the foreground. The castle in the background is the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a royal retreat just outside Paris.

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