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Tags for: Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries
  • Special Exhibition

Fontainebleau (detail), from the Valois Tapestries, c. 1576. Woven under the direction of Master WF, Brussels. Wool, silk, silver and gilded silver metal-wrapped thread; 395.5 x 338 cm. Gallerie degli Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, deposit, Florence, Arazzi n. 473. Photo: Roberto Palermo

Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries

Saturday, November 17, 2018–Monday, January 21, 2019
Location:  003 Special Exhibition Hall
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall

About The Exhibition

On view for the first time in North America, the recently restored Valois Tapestries, a unique set of 16th-century hangings, are unveiled in this exhibition. These fascinating and enigmatic tapestries were commissioned by Catherine de’ Medici, the indomitable queen mother of France, to celebrate the royal Valois dynasty against a backdrop of great political strife and social upheaval. Soon after their creation in Brussels, the eight room-sized hangings accompanied Catherine’s granddaughter, Christina of Lorraine, when the young princess traveled to the Medici court in Florence as the bride of Ferdinand I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

Woven with wool, silk, and precious metal-wrapped threads, the tapestries are rich in both their materials and intricate subject matter. Life-size, full-length portraits of the French king, princes, and princesses, situated prominently in the foreground, lock eyes with the viewer and present detailed scenes of court pageants and festivities. Juxtaposing the tapestries with paintings, drawings, and exquisite art objects of the period, Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries introduces the colorful and sometimes infamous characters associated with the hangings, and it explores the tapestries’ role as an artistic and political statement involving two of the most powerful European dynasties of the Renaissance—the Valois and the Medici—and their respective power bases in Paris and Florence. Among the most admired, ambitious, and costly artistic endeavors of their time, the Valois Tapestries embody the pageantry, splendor, and political intrigue of Renaissance Europe.

 

Video URL
This film explores the steps taken to clean and repair the Valois Tapestries. The Uffizi Galleries and the Cleveland Museum of Art are profoundly grateful to Friends of the Uffizi and their major benefactor, Mrs. Veronica Atkins, for their generous support of the restoration of the Valois Tapestries.

 

Sponsors

The Uffizi Galleries and the Cleveland Museum of Art are profoundly grateful to Friends of the Uffizi and their major benefactor, Mrs. Veronica Atkins, for their generous support of the restoration of the Valois Tapestries.

 

Presenting Sponsors
Joyce and Bill Litzler
Textile Art Alliance


Supporting Sponsors

A Gift in Memory of Emma Lincoln
Mrs. Joseph T. Zingale

 

Media Sponsor

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