Tapestry - Cephalus and Procris

Textile and Costume Collection

Accession Nr.: 86.401.1
Leclerc, Jérome (1670 - 1719) / worshop
Date of production:
ca. 1700
Place of production: Brussels
Inscription: a bordűr alsó szegélyén: brüsszeli városjegy és I. LE CLERC mesterjegy
Materials: silk; wool
Techniques: woven
length: 345 cm
width: 310 cm
The story of Cephalus and Procris is told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses (VII. 661—865). Procris was jealous of her lover hunting alone, who talked to the breeze as he rested. Overhearing this conversation, but not seeing to whom he had talked, Procris believed that Cephalus loved a nymph. Thus she hid in the forest to spy on her lover. The branches cracked and Cephalus, believing that there was an animal in the bush, threw his lance in the direction of the noise. The main scene of the tapestry takes place in the forest, where the mortally wounded Procris sitting on the ground leaning against Cephalus, who is about pull his lance from her breast. The scene of the foreground takes up relatively little space in relation to the whole. The work can be ranked amongst that group of Brussels tapestries, where landscape is important. Among the border's festoons are antique busts and small pictures of mythological scenes. The unknown artist of the drawing follows the compositional type of the l6th century Ovid illustrations. For example, the Pyramus and Thisbe scene of the border follows the engraving of the 1557 Lyon edition of Metamorphoses, and that of the Frankfurt edition made by Bernard Salomon, copying the former. On the lower part of the border is a mark of Brussels and a hall-mark of I. LE CLERC — i. e. Jerome le Clerc (1670—1719), who used to be the leader of one of the most famous workshops in Brussels. The border was not originally attached to the tapestry, but was later added to it the density of the weaving and the quality of the threads is, however, the same as those of the middle part. As mythological stories used to be represented always in series, it may be presumed that the border had framed another tapestry about the story of Cephalus and Procris. Thus no decision has yet been arrived at concerning the question of the master and the series.


  • Szerk.: Szilágyi András, Péter Márta: Barokk és rokokó. Az európai iparművészet stíluskorszakai. Iparművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1990. - Nr. 4.7. (László Emőke)
  • fényképész: László Emőke, Wagner Richárd: Képes kárpitok az Iparművészeti Múzeum gyűjteményében. I. 17-18. századi kárpitok. Iparművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1987. - Nr. 11.