Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Triumph of Fame

ca. 1502–4
Flemish, probably Brussels
Wool, silk (6-7 warp threads per cm.)
Overall: 141 1/2 x 132 in. (359.4 x 335.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1998
Accession Number:
Not on view
Based in part on Petrarch’s poem I Trionfi (The Triumphs), this tapestry belonged to a set of six representing the consecutive triumphs of Love, of Chastity over Love, of Death over Chastity, of Fame over Death, of Time over Fame, and of Religion over Time. Here Fame reads at a lectern, surrounded by writers whose works immortalized the deeds of the ancients. Triumphant over Death, she tramples the Fates and holds an orb crowned with a cross, locating the subject in a distinctly Christian context. This tapestry, or one identical to it, was purchased by Isabella, Queen of Castile and Aragon in 1504. It remains extraordinary for its condition, color and harmonious composition.
Inscription: (on a banderole above Fame) VETER[UM].SIC.ACTA.PER.FAMA[M].FU[ER]UNT.REDACTA
[Thus the deeds of the ancients were immortalized by Fame]
Marquis de Castro Serna ; [ sale, Christie's, London , June 14, 1993, lot 178; sold to Bernard Blondeel ] ; Bernard Blondeel (from 1993)
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