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Hanging with Triumphal Arch

Date:
second quarter of the 17th century
Culture:
Indian (Bengal), for the Portuguese market
Medium:
Silk satin embroidered with silk
Dimensions:
105.1 x 83.1 in (267 x 211.1 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • Description

    The imagery on this magnificent Indian embroidery is uniquely charged with contemporary European political conflict. The source of the arch is a 1622 Portuguese book that documents temporary structures created for Spain’s Philip III’s triumphal entry into Lisbon in 1619, when both Spain and Portugal were under his rule. Lisbon’s Flemish merchants erected the so-called Flamand arch. Atop stands Discordia—goddess of strife—between the coat of arms of the Dutch provinces, then struggling to gain independence from Spain. Also featured are portraits of Portuguese kings with motifs typical of Bengali exports—Christian subjects, hunting scenes, and mythological figures such as mermaids.

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