National Gallery of Art Presents The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries

The National Gallery of Art presents The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, September 18, 2011–January 8, 2012 and the Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX, February 5–May 13, 2012.


The Conquest of Tangier, (detail) c. 1471-1475, wool and silk tapestry, overall: 400 x 1082 cm (157 1/2 x 426 in.), Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana (Guadalajara). ©Fundación Carlos de Amberes. Photographs by Paul M.R. Maeyaert.

The Pastrana Tapestries—four monumental works on loan from the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Pastrana, Spain—are among the finest Gothic tapestries in existence. This exhibition represents the first time that the set will be on view in the United States. Depicting the conquest of two strategically located Moroccan cities by the king of Portugal, Afonso V, in 1471, the tapestries are highly unusual for their portrayal of contemporary events. Exquisitely rendered in wool and silk threads by Flemish weavers in Tournai, Belgium, the recently restored works teem with vivid and colorful images of knights, ships, and military paraphernalia set against a backdrop of maritime and urban landscapes.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 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, DC.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the government of Spain; the government of Portugal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Instituto Camões; and the government of Belgium, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The conservation of the tapestries was undertaken at the initiative of the 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 / Church of Our Lady of the Assumption.

www.nga.gov

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