Arachne was a Lydian girl famous for her excellent weaving and
embroidery. The tapestries she designed were so beautiful that the Nymphs
used to come to admire them. Everyone thought that Arachne received her
skill as a gift from Athena, the patron
of spinners and embroiderers. But Arachne refused to attribute her talent
to anyone but herself and challenged the goddess to a contest. Athena accepted
the challenge. Arachne made the perfect work, but the theme of her tapestry
was insulting for the gods. Athena, outraged with the mortal’s skill and
impudent behavior, struck Arachne with a shuttle and turned her into a
spider, which spins and weaves until it has no more thread.
See: Diego Velázquez. The Fable of Arachne (Las Hilanderas).
Paolo Veronese. Arachne or Dialectics.
Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto. Athena and Arachne.