Peabody Essex Museum is host to one of the finest examples of Gothic tapestry in existence now through the end of 2012! Come see this set of four massive, 36 foot-long tapestries that depict the North African military campaigns of Portugal's King Alphonse V during the crusades in the 15th Century. Experience medieval life through this tapestry with depictions of knights, ships, fortresses, weaponry, armour, attire and other details of the period. The four tapestries were recently restored to their finest condition in centuries, and are presented at PEM as an immersive, two-gallery experience before returning to Spain.
Textures of stone, metal, skin, and cloth are rendered with a vibrating realism that conveys weight, movement, and subtleties of light and shadow. Detailed facial expressions reveal individuality amongst the hundreds of figures depicted.
“PEM is honored to present this astonishing group of tapestries. The complex narrative program, vibrant colors, and artistic accomplishment of these works make for a dramatic and fascinating gallery experience,” said Karina Corrigan, coordinating curator and PEM’s H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art. “Viewing the Pastrana Tapestries is a singular event, and the presentation here at PEM will be the final opportunity for the U.S. public to see these exquisite works of art.”