The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
October 27 - December 31, 2012
Monumental in scale and meticulous in construction, the Pastrana Tapestries are one of the finest examples of Gothic tapestry in existence. The four, 36-foot-long tapestries are on view together for the first time as part of a rare U.S. tour that follows an extensive restoration project. Expertly woven in Belgium's Tournai workshops in the late 1400s, the Pastrana Tapestries are singular for their depiction of a contemporary subject: the military victories of Portugal's King Afonso V (1432-1481) in North Africa. Through vibrantly colored wool and silk threads, a vivid scene of military pomp and conquest emerges -- knights in full regalia raise their swords to the sky, royal trumpeters sound their advance, ships' masts punctuate the horizon and scenes of battle teem with valor and might. PEM is the exclusive Northeast venue for The Invention of Glory, which will be presented as an immersive, single gallery experience.