Quantcast

Back to Exhibition objects

Tapestry with Figurative Scenes

Date:
17th century
Culture:
Peruvian
Medium:
Tapestry weave, cotton warp and camelid weft; ca. 27 ribs to one inch
Dimensions:
Overall (Confirmed by Textile Conservation Summer 06): 89 9/16 x 84 3/4 in. (227.5 x 215.3 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
Purchase, Morris Loeb Bequest, 1956
Accession Number:
56.163
  • Description

    This tapestry was produced by highly skilled Andean weavers. Its diverse iconography reflects the range of sources and ideas that informed the intellectual framework of colonial Andean society. Along with scenes from the Old Testament, classical Greek mythology, and local daily life, the amorphous central blue shape seems to reinterpret a Chinese symbol. At top left, three horsemen (possibly representing the Magi) wear European-style garments; above their heads is the enigmatic phrase Moussom Nessept. Although the precise meaning is unknown, moussom may relate to the Arabic mawsim, referring to trade winds that are favorable for sailing.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: (in border, upper left): MOUSSOM-MESSEPT (E inverted)

  • Provenance

    Mr. Benjamin Benguiat ; or Vitall Benguiat ; or David Benguiat ; [ Benguiat sale, American Art Galleries , New York, April 10–12, 1924, cat. no. 629 ] ; Guillermo Schmidt-Pizarro (until 1956; to MMA)

227918

Close