In the spring of 2012, the Meadows Museum will offer visitors the opportunity to see a set of four tapestries of the fifteenth century that have survived at least since the seventeenth century in the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Guadalajara province Pastrana . Known collectively as the Pastrana tapestries, masterfully woven these creations were produced in the workshops of Tournai in Belgium during the last quarter of the fifteenth century.
No one knows for certain how these tapestries went to Pastrana, the most accepted theory is that they were given to King Philip II of Spain by Rui Gomes da Silva (1516-1573), prince of Eboli (and later, the first Duke of Pastrana), at the time of the union of the Kingdom of Spain and Portugal. Prized for their technical execution, the precious materials used in its creation and its monumental scale (reaching 36 feet long and 13 feet high), Pastrana tapestries are rare, especially in terms of matter. While most of the tapestries of the period featured biblical or mythological themes, Pastrana tapestries are some of the few examples that describe contemporary events – the conquest of the North African cities of Asilah and Tangier by Alfonso V (1432-1481), king of Portugal.
Hurt by the fall of Constantinople to Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, the Christian world met the Popes Nicholas V and Calixtus III, to participate in crusades to defend the Church against the infidels. Pope Callistus III in 1456 granted the Portuguese Order of Christ, an order founded in 1319 to fight the Muslims, the spiritual jurisdiction over the conquered lands.
Recently, the Foundation has supported Charles of Antwerp for two years restoring the tapestries of the Royal Manufacturers De Wit in Belgium, which has returned the four tissue boxes to their original splendor. To expose the tapestries to a wider audience during the renovation of its showrooms in the Collegiate Pastrana, tapestries have been traveling since January 2010 to museums in Brussels, Lisbon, Toledo and Madrid. The tour continues in the United States, where the Meadows Museum will be the first American headquarters after the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, to showcase these masterpieces of the fifteenth century.
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and Fundacion Carlos of Antwerp, Madrid, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, Portugal and the Embassy in collaboration with the Belgian Embassy and the Embassy of Morocco in Washington DC with generous financial support from the Meadows Foundation
Site: Meadows Museum
Title: The Invention of Glory: Alfonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
Place: Meadows Museum
City: Dallas. Tx
Country: United States of America
Date: February 5 – May 13, 2012