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Apollo and the Serpent Python (from Set of Ovid's Metamorphoses)

Apollo and the Serpent Python (from Set of Ovid's Metamorphoses)


Part of a set. See all set records


Gobelins Manufactory

(France, Paris, est. 1662)

after Nicolas Bertin

(French, 1668–1736)

Tapestry weave

Overall: 328 x 393 cm (129 1/8 x 154 3/4 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Matthias Plum 1956.325.3


Did you know?

During the French Revolution, Gobelins tapestries were sometimes disassembled to harvest the gold threads.


Apollo’s dynamic posture with his right arm pulled back and his left holding a bow indicates that he has just shot the arrow piercing the snarling serpent’s throat and body. Apollo’s triumph over powerful Python, the fearsome serpent offspring of Mother Earth or Gaia, boosted his ego tremendously, leading to his tragically unsuccessful pursuit of Daphne. The regally dressed hunter and his prey are seen alone in an environment teeming with natural life that includes a pumpkin patch. In the creation of this textile, the manufacturer used blue and yellow dye to create the color green which has since degraded, causing the pumpkins and their leaves to appear blue.

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