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Exhibitions

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Threads of Gold: Renaissance Tapestries from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

When:
Oct 9, 2010 – Jan 2, 2011
Past Event
Where:
Museum of Art

World-renowned for its artistic treasures, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, houses the art collections formed over centuries by successive generations of the House of Hapsburg, Austria?s royal family. The tapestry collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is widely known as one of the greatest in existence.

In the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, tapestries were among the most prestigious objects owned by the European elite, their cost surpassing that of sculptures or paintings. Richly woven with silk, wool, and gold and silver threads, the eight tapestries from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in this exhibition were made at the height of the Renaissance in the famous Brussels atelier of Frans Geubels. They depict one of the most popular secular themes in the sixteenth-century repertoire of Flemish tapestry production: the legendary founding of ancient Rome by the twins, Romulus and Remus. The Hapsburgs who owned these tapestries ruled over the Holy Roman Empire, thought to be a revival of the ancient Roman Empire: the images on the tapestries proclaimed this glorious ancestry.

Six of the eight tapestries presented in this exhibition are part of a set once owned by the Emperor Matthias (1557-1617). Completing the sequence of the legend are two tapestries from another sixteenth-century set in the Kunsthistorisches Museum?s collection that belonged to the Emperor Franz I (1708-1765), husband of Empress Maria Theresia (1717-1780). All of the tapestries were recently and painstakingly restored.

This exhibition is developed by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

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