Devotion of Our Lady or Golden cloths series (Devoción de Nuestra Señora o Paños de oro)

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Devotion of Our Lady or Golden cloths series (Devoción de Nuestra Señora o Paños de oro)

This is a series of four pieces woven in the workshop of Pieter van Edinghen or Pieter van Aelst, court weavers to Philip the Handsome, and acquired in 1502 by Queen Joanna I. It contains liturgical, Eucharistic and apologetic images of great iconographical complexity. Gold thread prevails in its weft, a technical quality which has made them known in the history of tapestry as the Golden Cloths.

The purchase of the series from the weaver Van Aelst by Queen Joanna is recorded in the receipt for the amount owed on 10th August 1502. This rich tapestry of gold and silk had a relevant place in the inventories of the Queen thereafter, in particular, in those taken by Diego and Alonso de Ribera, her chamberlains during her seclusion at Tordesillas.

The pieces were used by Philip II to adorn the Old Church of the monastery in which Charles V and Isabella of Portugal were buried under the high altar, before their corpses were moved to the newly built basilica of the monastery in 1586. The tapestries were returned to the treasury of the Royal Alcázar of Madrid by a royal order of 26th October 1593. They are currently exhibited in the monastery, together with other tapestries closely linked to the history of El Escorial.

The four tapestries formerly had the coats of arms of the Duchy of Brabant woven into their upper corners. Their superimposed threads have worn away with the passing of time.


P. Junquera de Vega and C. Herrero Carretero, Catálogo de Tapices del Patrimonio Nacional. Volumen I: Siglo XVI, Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, 1986, pp. 1-5.

C. Herrero Carretero, “Tapices donados para el culto de la Iglesia Vieja”, in Iglesia y Monarquía La Liturgia. IV Centenario del Monasterio de El Escorial<i>, Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, 1986, pp. 93-130.</p> <p>C. Herrero Carretero, <i>Tapices de Isabel la Católica. Origen de la Colección Real Española. Tapestries of Isabella the Catholic. Origin of the Spanish Royal Collection, Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, 2004, pp. 44-52 and 90-93.

SeriesDevotion of Our Lady or Golden cloths

Models Cartoonist from the circle of Colyn de Coter

Manufacture Pieter van Aelst, Brussels, c. 1500-1502

Fabric Gold, silver, silk and wool

Location Halls of Honour of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid

Origin The collection of Joanna of Castile


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