17th Century Needlework of Orpheus Taming The Wild Animals, Circa 1640

17th Century Needlework of Orpheus Taming The Wild Animals,

Circa 1640

The large-shaped needlework panel worked in wool and colored silk depicts the central figure of Orpheus playing the flute surrounded by wild animals. The animals include an Elephant, Tiger, Giraffe, Lion, Snake, Rabbit, Deer amongst others. While in the original stories of Orpheus he plays the lyre in many images from the Renaissance period-instrument became a lira da braccio, an instrument played by Leonardo da Vinci. Here it looks more like a violin.

Dimensions:  25 1/2 inches wide x 31 1/2 inches high

Orpheus was a popular subject in classical art and was also used in Early Christian art as a symbol for Christ. Greeks of the Classical age venerated Orpheus as the greatest of all poets and musicians; it was said that while Hermes had invented the lyre, Orpheus had perfected it. Poets such as Simonides of Ceos said that Orpheus' music and singing could charm the birds, fish, and wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance and divert the course of rivers. In Greek mythology,

Orpheus was a singer and poet. He was given a lyre by Apollo, the god of music, and was taught to play by the Muses. His songs, melodiously accompanied by his instrument, were so beautiful that they pacified wild animals, calmed the seas, and animated trees and rocks.

The scene in which Orpheus tamed the wild animals by his music was well known in the Roman imperial time. The idea of civilizing barbaric traits through arts and poetry was a persistent cultural value throughout Roman times. It is a symbol of the victory of civilization over barbarianism. (Cited from: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/orpheus-taming-the-wild-animals.333404/)

(Ref: NY9675-carr)

Dealer Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc.
Date: 1640
Origin England
Measurements 25 1/2 inches wide x 31 1/2 inches high
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Website http://vandekar.com
Price 9500
Contact Paul Vandekar, 212-308-2022 or  info@vandekar.com

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