The Rape of Europa

Title/Series: The Rape of Europa, possibly from a set of tapestries depicting either the loves of the gods, or stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
Manufacture: French, Aubusson
Date: 18th Century
Materials: Wool and Silk
Dimensions: 8 ft. 10 in. x 7 ft. 6 in.

The heady mix of gods and humans, love (or lust) and seduction, and shape-shifting found in the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses provided a fertile source of inspiration for the pictorial and sculptural arts throughout the centuries. This tapestry is quite true to the literary source in its depiction of the god Jupiter’s seduction and abduction of Europa, daughter of Agenor, Phoenician king of Tyre.