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Bequest of Whitney Warren Jr. in memory of Mrs. Adolph Spreckels
Supported by two winged figures of Fame holding fanfare trumpets, the arms of the Visconti family of Milan, surmounted by a crown, dominate a distant view of Lake Maggiore. The arms are displayed beneath a curvilinear portico draped with garlands held by amorini, above, and caryatids at each side. Young children at the base of the columns cling to large flower vases. A trophy of armor and weapons of war in the center foreground decorates a framed battle scene, an allusion to military prowess echoed by the blue cameo medallion of Victory on the portico above. The armorial portiere is believed to have been commissioned by Pirro Visconti Borromeo Arese of Milan (1666 – 1704), whose daughter Marguerita married his brother, Giulio Visconti. The latter was decorated with the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1721, which accounts for the collar of that order applied to the tapestry at a later date. From Anna Gray Bennett, "Five Centuries of Tapestry: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco" (San Francisco: Chronicle Books; The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1976; repr. 1992): 198.