Tuesday 27 March 2012

Pastrana Tapestries at Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Texas until 13 May 2012

This fabulous set set of four recently restored 15th-century tapestries, known as the Pastrana tapestries (they have been in Pastrana in the Spanish province of Guadalajara since the 17th century) were woven in the Tournai workshops in Belgium in the late 1400s, and are among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries in existence. Prized for their technical execution, the sumptuous materials employed in their creation, and their monumental scale (reaching to 36 feet in length and 13 feet in height), the Pastrana tapestries are above all rare in terms of subject matter. While most tapestries of the period featured biblical or mythological subjects, the Pastrana tapestries are some of the few extant examples that depict contemporaneous events – the conquest of the North African cities of Asilah and Tangier by Afonso V (1432-81), King of Portugal. Recently, the Fundación Carlos de Amberes supported the two-year restoration of the tapestries at the Royal Manufacturers De Wit in Belgium, which has returned the four woven tableaux to their original splendor.
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