The Triumph of Fame

Date: ca. 1502–4

Culture: Flemish, probably Brussels

Medium: Wool, silk (6-7 warp threads per cm.)

Dimensions: Overall: 141 1/2 x 132 in. (359.4 x 335.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Tapestries

Credit Line: Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.205


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.