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Scene at a Royal Court
Scene at a Royal Court
ca. 1490
Not on display
Wool, Silk, Metallic Thread; Tapestry Weave
221 x 256.5 cm (87 x 101 in.)
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
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Mr. and Mrs. E. John Magnin Gift

Exhibition History:

Five Centuries of Tapestry, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1976
National Tour: Five Centuries of Tapestry, Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York, 12/3/77- 1/29/78; Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, 5/13/78 - 7/2/78; Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, 9/13/78 - 10/29/78
Gallery Rotation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 2008

Attempts to place this episode into narrative context have not succeeded to date. Whatever the actual subject, a moment of high drama is reflected in the unusually expressive faces. The narrative interest competes with another outstanding feature of the tapestry: its preoccupation with luxury fabrics. Virtually every surface is covered with pattern. The weaver has succeeded in representing by tapestry techniques the rich, complex textiles of his age: the figured velvets, moirés, and heavy silk brocades. These materials not only clothe the characters of the drama, but serve as wall hangings and rugs as well. The representation of a millefleurs wall hanging in the background is an unexpected touch. 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): p. 50.