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In Filoforme - Abstract ENG

FILO FORME anno 4 n. 9



This issue of filo forme, dedicated to the history of tapestries, presents three articles, each very different from one another in both approach and type of object. Koenraad Brosens, University of Leuven, has contributed an article on a splendid series of chinoiserie tapestries woven in Brussels during the 1700s and belonging to the Duke of Arenberg. During the eighteenth century the popularity of the chinoiserie genre is found throughout the decorative arts, and in the tapestries presented here it constitutes an expression of great quality and effect. The collection of tapestries in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti from the Ca’ d’Oro in Venice is the subject of Michela Scarazzola’s study, introducing us to an interesting and still little-known collection. My own contribution consists in the recovery of a single, Florentine-manufacture tapestry made for Count Alfonso Gonzaga di Novellara. Particularly interesting in this case, is the relative rarity of a tapestry destined for a patron outside the Medici court, and the hypothetical attribution of the cartoon to Giovanni Stradano (Jan Van der Straet).

Lucia Meoni


The Duke of Arenberg’s Brussels Chinoiserie Tapestries by Judocus de Vos
Koenraad Brosens (page 3)

Four magnificent eighteenth-century chinoiserie tapestries signed by the Brussels tapestry producer Judocus de Vos are now in the Seattle Art Museum. They originally belonged to the Duke of Arenberg who, in 1717, ordered a series of twelve tapestries that were not delivered, however, until 1738. Together with chinoiserie tapestries woven in France, England and Germany, the Brussels pieces provide an important and lively image of the popularity of the chinoiserie genre in eighteenth-century decorative arts.


The tapestry collection in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at the Ca’ d’Oro in Venice
Michela Scarazzolo (page 7)

The collection of tapestries at the Ca’ d’Oro in Venice forms part of the nucleus acquired by Baron Giorgio Franchetti, who, in 1916, donated his palace and his collections to the Italian State. The most interesting tapestry piece in the collection is the work that, most likely, depicts an episode from the Story of Esther. In the centre of the millefleurs tapestry there is a coat-of-arms that makes reference to Gabriel Miro. In the work Veduta prospettica di un colonnato (Perspective view of a colonnade), a mark similar to that used by Wilhelm Segers is visible. The tapestry with Giunone (Juno), woven in about 1760, can most likely be attributed to Paul Saunders of Soho. The Ingresso nell’Arca di Noè (Entering Noah’s Ark), from the Cathedral of Cividale, originates in the series of tapestries woven for the Wawel Castle in Krakow. The State of Italy has acquired the two Brussels tapestries dating from the second half of the 1500s, depicting Bathsheba and Nathan before David, initialed by the tapestry-maker Jan de Buck, and Atalanta and Hippomenes.


The Fable of Jason tapestry woven in Florence for Count Alfonso I Gonzaga di Novellara
Lucia Meoni (page 13)

This Florentine-manufacture tapestry, at one time part of the patrimony of the County, has been recovered from the Municipality of Novellara. It depicts one of the episodes from a series of stories about Jason. It is an example of the work from the Rost and Karcher workshop made for a clientele outside the commissions of the court of Cosimo I de’ Medici. Particularly interesting is the attribution of the cartoon for the tapestry to Giovanni Stradano (Jan Van der Straet). This work represents one of the first designs by the painter for the Medici tapestry-works, and is one of the very few pieces dating from the period when both the Flemish masters were in the workshop.

In vetrina