Altar Frontal: Scenes from the Childhood of Christ

Altar Frontal: Scenes from the Childhood of Christ

c. 1500

Wool, silk, gold thread; tapestry weave

Overall: 107.3 x 240 cm (42 1/4 x 94 1/2 in.)

Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.826

Description

Pictorial tapestries were symbols of wealth and more highly prized than paintings. Small tapestries with Christian imagery were frequently commissioned to decorate the front of altars. This example displays the Massacre of the Innocents, the Flight into Egypt, and Christ among the Doctors. The crowding of figures and continuous foreground flowers are characteristic of Franco-Flemish tapestries woven around 1500. Tapestry weave is ideal for creating narrative scenes. The weavers copied life-size pictures, or cartoons, sideways so that the warp would run across the width, which facilitated weaving wall-size tapestries.

See also
Collection: 
Textiles
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Tapestry

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.