Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Scenes from the Life of the Virgin

ca. 1490–1510
South Netherlandish
Wool warp, wool, silk, and metallic wefts
Overall: 86 3/4 x 82in. (220.3 x 208.3cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
Wearing a red-and-gold brocaded dress and carried along by six angels, Mary ascends into heaven at the center of this five-part composition. Other episodes from her life unfold around this principal scene. Beginning in the upper left corner is the Presentation of the young Mary in the Temple, followed by the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth in the upper right corner. The Annunciation at left and the Adoration of the Magi at right dominate the lower field, their figures boasting exuberant costumes. The arrangement of the scenes in this tapestry gives preference to the most important episodes in Mary’s life rather than following a strict chronology. The tapestry’s relatively small size suggests that it was designed to hang alone behind an altar.
Benjamin Altman, New York
Göbel, Heinrich. Wandteppiche. 1. Teil, Die Niederlande. Vol. 1. Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1923. pp. 76, 411, ill. vol II fig. 58.

Cavallo, Adolfo S. Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 18, pp. 285-291, fig. 117-118.

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