Jan Malderus, Bishop of Antwerp

Manufactory Imperial Russian Tapestry Manufactory, Saint Petersburg
After a copy of a painting by Anthony van Dyck Flemish

Not on view

Cyrillic script on a fictive plaque adorning a trompe l’oeil frame identifies “A. Van Dyck”, the artist of the painting this tapestry imitates. Large-scale figurative tapestries like this one had been woven in Saint Petersburg since at least 1716 when Peter the Great founded a tapestry weaving workshop under royal protection; by 1756, its weavers were directed by Jean Baptiste Rondet, who had worked at the great Manufacture Royale des Gobelins in Paris. This tapestry, woven during the reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia, was probably entirely the work of Russian weavers. It is part of a large group of technically proficient tapestries modelled after paintings in the Russian royal collection; in this instance, the painting- now in the Hermitage- is a contemporary copy of Van Dyck’s original portrait of Malderus, which is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

Jan Malderus, Bishop of Antwerp, Imperial Russian Tapestry Manufactory, Saint Petersburg, Wool, metal thread (20-25 warps per inch, 8-10 per cm.), Russian, St. Petersburg

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