Reubens Tapestry Series

Detail Triumph of the Eucharist Series
While in art school I wrote a paper on the influence of Italian Renaissance painters, particularly Raphael and Peter Paul Reubens, on Flemish tapestry weavers.  In a nutshell, the painters guild lobbied to have all tapestry cartoons designed by painters.  The style of tapestries went from colorful lively hangings with jumbles of figures and small floral bands to powerful figures and designs that could be woven and interchanged.  This change  lessened the power of the weavers and changed tapestry weaving forever.  I had only seen images of these weavings in books but while we were in Florida a visit to the Ringling Museum of Art gave me a great surprise.
Detail Triumph of the Eucharist Series
Upon entering was a 14 foot tall tapestry designed by Reubens from the Triumph of the Eucharist Series which had been commissioned by the Infanta Isabella Claire Eugenia of Spain.  While not one of the original twenty tapestries (which hang in the Convent of Descales Reales in Madrid) this tapestry was made from the original Reubens cartoon   To see the delicate threads and perfect color changes up close and personal was a highlight of my trip.  In addition to the tapestry the cartoons of four of the tapestries from the series were also on display.  If you would like to read a bit more about the history of these works in the museum go here.
Tapestry from Triumph of the Eucharist Series
If you find yourself in Sarasota, Florida you will not be disappointed by the Ringling Art Museum.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

The tapestry is just stunning.