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Detail of Pomona from Story of Vertumnus and Pomona: Vertumnus appears to Pomona in the guise of a Herdsman. Design attributed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst, ca. 1544, tapestry woven under the direction of Willem de Pannemaker, Brussels, sometime between ca. 1548 and 1575.

Detail of Pomona from Story of Vertumnus and Pomona: Vertumnus appears to Pomona in the guise of a Herdsman. Design attributed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst (Netherlandish, 1502–1550), ca. 1544. Tapestry woven under the direction of Willem de Pannemaker, Brussels, sometime between ca. 1548 and 1575. Wool, silk, gold and silver metal-wrapped threads; 164 1/2 x 211 in. (418 x 536 cm). Royal Palace, Madrid (TA-17/II, 10004061)

The exhibition is made possible by the Siebold Stichting Foundation and Fukushima Medical University.

Additional support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The Hochberg Foundation Trust.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Grand Design

Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry

October 8, 2014–January 11, 2015

Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide

This international loan exhibition will explore the achievements of the great northern Renaissance master, Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502–1550). As the impressive body of his surviving drawings makes clear, Coecke was a master designer, devising projects across media, from tapestry series, to panel paintings, prints, stained glass, and goldsmith's work. The exhibition will unite nineteen of the grand tapestries he designed, woven in the great workshops of Brussels for collectors from Emperor Charles V, France's François Ier, and Henry VIII of England, to Cosimo de Medici, juxtaposed with a selection of his panel paintings, including a monumental triptych, and more than thirty drawings and prints. Coecke was also the translator and editor of influential Italian architectural treatises that will be included in the exhibition. In the midst of this productivity, Coecke also traveled extensively, and among the exhibits will be the fascinating woodcut frieze he designed, over fourteen feet in length, recording his experiences in Constantinople.

Related Installation

This exhibition is complemented by the installation Examining Opulence: A Set of Renaissance Tapestry Cushions (August 4, 2014–January 18, 2015).

Related Events

Gallery Talk:
Exhibition Tour—Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry
Friday, October 10, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Free with Museum admission
Gallery Talk:
Exhibition Tour—Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry
Monday, October 20, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Free with Museum admission
Gallery Talk:
Exhibition Tour—Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry
Saturday, November 1, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Free with Museum admission