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The Triumph of Death over Chastity

Tapestry
ca. 1507-1510 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This tapestry is from a series of six based on the poem I Trionfi (The Triumphs), written by the Italian poet Petrach between 1352 and 1374. The poem described a series of allegorical visions, and this scene represents the Triumph of Death over Chastity. Its inscription tells that however chaste and completely virtuous man may be, the Fates cut the thread of his life. In the end, there is neither king nor pope, neither great nor small who can escape death.

The Humanist theme, secular yet improving, was popular in King Henry VIII's court, and used as the subject for many types of decorative art as well as tapestries.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Tapestry with wool warp and weft and a few silk wefts
Brief Description
Tapestry, the Triumph of Death over Chastity, Brussels, 1507-1510
Physical Description
Tapestry woven, with about 6 or 7 warp threads per cm.
Dimensions
  • Height: 446cm
  • Width: 683cm
  • Weight: 70kg
  • Top edge width: 6810mm
  • Bottom edge width: 6719mm
  • Proper right length: 4435mm
  • Proper left length: 4440mm
  • Weighed on roller weight: 72kg
taken from published catalogue. Weight including roller
Object history
Purchased from E Lowengard, Paris.
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferencePetrarch, <i>I Trionfi</i>
Summary
This tapestry is from a series of six based on the poem I Trionfi (The Triumphs), written by the Italian poet Petrach between 1352 and 1374. The poem described a series of allegorical visions, and this scene represents the Triumph of Death over Chastity. Its inscription tells that however chaste and completely virtuous man may be, the Fates cut the thread of his life. In the end, there is neither king nor pope, neither great nor small who can escape death.



The Humanist theme, secular yet improving, was popular in King Henry VIII's court, and used as the subject for many types of decorative art as well as tapestries.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Thomas P Campbell, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty : Tapestries at the Tudor court, Yale University Press, 2007, pp.149-155
Collection
Accession Number
441-1883

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record createdNovember 24, 2008
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