In the second panel of this series, the Anunication to the Virgin takes place. Mary accompanied by the Virtues and other Old Testament figures.
His name must be Jesus
The central compartment takes place inside a temple and depicts the Anunication and is closely linked with the first panel of this series. The Archangel Gabriel to the left delivers a message from God which proclaims the conceptiom of God’s son and that Mary must name him Jesus.
Jesus Christ sits in majesty in the center with his mother Mary at his lower right, who holds a prayer book. Both Jesus and Mary are surrounded by female figures who personify the seven Christian Virtues with their attributes, such as Temperance holding a clock, Faith with a fish, and Charity a heart.
Wisdom, Prudence and Princely Rule
The other fours scenes in this panel again represent events from the Old Testament and are included to impart to its viewers moral lessons of wisdom, prudence and princely rule. The upper right shows King David receiving Bathsheba in his palace, as does the upper left, with Solomon and his mother Bathsheba.
Below on either side of the Anunciation are additional scenes with Eucharistic overtones and the themes of repentence and remorse for bad deeds and sins committed. To the left God is presented with the portrait of a sinner, while on the right Christ holds a portrait of couple (symbolizing luxuria or sexual indulgence), explaining that his sacrifice on the cross was made to expatiate man’s sins.
Juana of Castile married in 1498 the Archduke Philip the Fair, son of the Emperor Maximilian I and moved to the Brussels court. There, Juana was exposed to the magnificent tapestry collections of the former Dukes of Burgundy. However, Juana already had a marked taste for tapestries, having seen since childhood the large collection her mother, Isabella of Castile (she owned over 300 tapestries), that were displayed in royal residences across Castile. It is certain Juana’s trousseau included excellent Flemish tapestries given to by her mother.
An Archduchess goes shopping
During Juana’s ten year residency in the Netherlands, she established close ties with tapestry weavers and merchants in Brussels, in particular with Pieter van Aelst, the manufacturer who supplied the Habsburg court with outstanding cycles. The collector Margaret of Austria, sister of Philip the Fair, especially favored van Aelst, who in 1502 was appointed a member of Philip’s household. This post as official tapestry weaver (tapissier) brought Juana and van Aelst together, he became Juana’s closest advsior and purveyor of tapestries of the highest quality.
An inscription can be read in the book displayed by Wisdom: Sapientia edificavit sibi (Proverbs 9, 1)
Series Triumphs of the Mother or Paños de Oro
Second tapestry in the series
Model Colin de Cooter?
Manufacture Pieter van Aelst (or van Edingen), Brussels, c. 1500-1502
Fabric Gold, silver, silk and wool
Size 330 x 380 cm
Location Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Origin Collection of Joana I of Castile
On display Halls of Honour
National Heritage Inv. 10034475