Fire, one of the Soho ‘Elements’ tapestries, by John Vanderbank, after Charles Le Brun, circa 1685.

The element Fire, depicts Jupiter, with Vulcan at his forge surrounded by armour.

The borders depict products of the forge: arms, armour and martial trophies; the side borders with oblong views of the South Front of Burghley and Wothorpe and corner roundels with appropriate emblems.

The top border has the arms of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) and his Countess Anne (1649-1703) and the bottom border carries a Latin text relative to fire, signed FH.

The arms and the text both supported by salamanders.

The weaver’s mark IVdb. 405cm high, 265.5 wide.

The 1688 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The Wardrobe ‘3 peices of ye Ellements Tapistry hangings, by Vanderbanc.’


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