The ambassadors of the European powers in Nijmegen expected the locations hosting negotiations to reflect the great importance of the peace negotiations. In order to provide suitable adornment for the two sober meeting rooms of the deputies of Gelderland in Nijmegen city hall, two series of tapestries were bought in great haste. Tapestries are ideal for the sumptuous decoration of rooms. Due to their incalculable value, tapestries demonstrate the wealth and status of their owners, and are also easily transported. The tapestries in Nijmegen were created in the workshops of the Antwerp based Wauters company, led by brothers Michiel and Philip. It was one of the most renowned tapestry workshops at that time.

Two series of tapestries were purchased. The first series featured seven scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, produced in the 1670s based on a design by Daniël Janssens and Pieter Spierinckx. The second series consisted of six scenes from Virgil’s Aeniad based on designs by Gian Francesco Romanelli from 1655-1662. The tapestries witnessed many consultations and the signing of several peace treaties between the years 1678-79.

After the ambassadors departed, they continued to be part of the historic interior of Nijmegen city hall. Besides their exceptional quality, the importance of the Nijmegen tapestries is chiefly due to the fact that this is the only place in Europe where they have been kept complete as ensembles. From the beginning of 2010, the series will be displayed alternately in Museum het Valkhof.

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Apollo and Daphne (Ovid, Metamorphoses I, 452 ff.)

Arcas and the bear (Ovid, Metamorphoses II, 401 ff.)

Mercury, Herse and Aglauros (Ovid, Metamorphoses II, 708 ff.)

Europa and the bull (Ovid, Metamorphoses II, 833 ff.)

The story of Narcissus (Ovid, Metamorphoses III, 339 ff.)

Cephalus and Procris (Ovid, Metamorphoses VII, 661 ff.)

Meleager and the Calydonian boar (Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII, 260 ff.)

Aeneas meets his mother Venus (Virgil, Aeneid I, 314 ff.)

The rise of Carthage (Virgil, Aeneid I, 494 ff.)

Dido’s sacrifice to Juno (Virgil, Aeneid IV, 54 ff.)

Aeneas and Dido flee the storm (Virgil, Aeneid IV, 160 ff.)

Mercury reminds Aeneas of his vow to travel to Italy (Virgil, Aeneid IV, 265 ff.)

Dido bids farewell to Aeneas (Virgil, Aeneid XX, xxx ff.)