Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment of a Tapestry or Wall Hanging

Date:
ca. 1420–30
Geography:
Made in Basel, Switzerland
Culture:
Upper Rhenish
Medium:
Tapestry weave: wool on linen
Dimensions:
33 7/16 x 29 1/2 in. (85 x 75 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1990
Accession Number:
1990.211
Not on view
This tapestry fragment represents a fabulous lionlike beast with pointed teeth, clawed feet, and a scaly rump. Such beasts, derived from those illustrated in classical texts like the Physiologus and medieval bestiaries, represent vices. Here the figures posed with them seem to have tamed their libidinous cravings. Such tapestries were displayed in homes providing decoration as well as insulation.
Benedictine abbey at Muri, Canton Aargau, Switzerland; Benedictine abbey at Muri, Canton Aargau, Switzerland (until about 1800) ; Peter Vischer-Sarasin, Schloss Wildenstein, near Bubendorf, Switzerland (by 1841/43) ; by descent to Peter Vischer-Passavant, Schloss Wildenstein, near Bubendorf, Switzerland ; by descent to Peter Vischer-Milner-Gibson, Schloss Wildenstein, near Bubendorf, Switzerland (until 1989) ; Christie's, London(July 3, 1990, lot 110b)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1990-1991." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 49, no. 2 (Fall 1991). p. 18.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Twenty-First Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1990, through June 30, 1991." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 121 (1991). p. 35.

Cavallo, Adolfo S. Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 55, pp. 625-632, fig. 179-181.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 211, pp. 173–74.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 86, pp. 122, 197.

Barnet, Peter, and Pete Dandridge, ed. Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 55, p. 190.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 127.



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