Exhibitions/ Art Object

Allegorical Hanging or Cover

Date:
17th century
Culture:
South America (?)
Medium:
Cotton embroidered with silk
Dimensions:
112.2 x 93.3 in (285 x 237 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Alan Kennedy, Westport, and Junnaa and Thomi Wroblewski, London
Not on view
Likely made in colonial South America, this embroidered hanging depicting courting couples in elegant Spanish dress, bow and arrow-wielding centaurs, and winged putti draws from a variety of design sources. Its central female figure, dressed as a Roman warrior, represents the continent of Africa from the Four Continents theme popular in Europe. The inscription, FAMA NOCET (“Fame Is Harmful”), alongside a falcon is drawn from a 1640 Spanish treatise on morality and ethics. The imagination and technical acumen of the hanging’s makers attest to vital cross-cultural interchange during the period.