June 2, 2012 - San Diego Museum of Art - Monumental Gothic tapestries
June 2, 2012

Monumental Gothic tapestries

The Conquest of Tangier, c.1470. Wool and silk. Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana, Spain. © Fundación Carlos de Amberes. Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art – Rob Shelley.

The Invention of Glory: 
Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries

June 9–September 9, 2012

The San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado
Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92111

Hours: Sun 12–5pm
Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat: 10–5pm
Fri, June 1–Aug 31 10–9pm

T 619 232 7931

www.TheSanDiegoMuseumofArt.com

Rare works of art from the 15th century to be revealed for the first time on the West Coast

The Pastrana Tapestries, among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries in the world, will be on view at The San Diego Museum of Art from June 9 through September 9, 2012 in the exhibition titled The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries.

Museum visitors will marvel at four recently restored and monumentally sized tapestries, each 12 feet by 36 feet. Woven in Tournai (modern-day Belgium) at the end of the 15th century, the intricate threads intertwine to create detailed images of the Portuguese King Afonso V’s conquest of the Moroccan cities of Asilah and Tangier in 1471.

Commissioned for the Portuguese Royal Court to commemorate those battles, these rare works of art are among the earliest examples of tapestries created to celebrate contemporary events, instead of allegorical or religious subjects. The designer minimized the misery of warfare and reinvented the event with heroic images of Afonso and ideals of chivalry.

“This extraordinary exhibition comes to The San Diego Museum of Art in part because these tapestries, created for the court in Portugal and long part of the heritage of Spain, have a natural connection with the Spanish art that is at the core of our old masters collection,” said Roxana Velásquez, executive director of The San Diego Museum of Art.

“The quality, beauty, and historical relevance of these tapestries offer a unique opportunity to enjoy this distinctive art form of the 15th century. By viewing these magnificent works up close, visitors can develop a deeper understanding of both the art form and the stories each tapestry tells.”

Due to the tapestries’ outstanding value, the Spanish government listed the work of art as cultural patrimony to be safeguarded during the Spanish Civil War. The Pastrana Tapestries are property of The Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Pastrana, Spain, 50 miles east of Madrid.

The exhibition will travel to The San Diego Museum of Art in time for its popular weekly Summer Salon Series, which will run concurrently with the tapestry exhibition. This year’s theme, “Beyond the Banner,” takes the tapestries as the starting point for an investigation of art’s role in creating the fictions of our own information age.

The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Madrid, in association with the Embassy of Spain, the Spain-USA Foundation, and the Embassy of Portugal and with the cooperation of the Embassy of Belgium and the Embassy of Morocco in Washington, D.C., as well as the Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana, Spain.

The conservation of the tapestries was undertaken at the initiative of the Spanish Fundación Carlos de Amberes, with support from the Belgian InBev-Baillet Latour Fund, and the following Spanish Institutions: Fundación Caja Madrid, Region of Castilla-La Mancha, Provincial Council of Guadalajara, and Diocese of Sigüenza – Guadalajara and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana.

The conservation of the tapestries received the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards 2011.

The exhibition is supported by the members of The San Diego Museum of Art and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program. Institutional support for the Museum is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

 

 

The San Diego Museum of Art presents monumental Gothic tapestries
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