Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (Encuentro de Abraham y Melquisedec)

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Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (Encuentro de Abraham y Melquisedec)
With great theatricality, the meeting between these two biblical characters only seems to be revealed thanks to three cherubs pulling back a curtain. It is all framed by splendid architecture of barley-sugar columns which support an equally remarkable boarding.

A befitting theme

For a series seeking to extol the Eucharist, a sacrament rejected by Reformation, to start with the meeting between patriarch Abraham and King Melchizedek, himself a clergyman, is clearly suitable. According to the biblical tale (Genesis 24, 17-24), Melchizedek, King of Salem, came out to meet Abraham, offering him bread and wine, when the patriarch was on his way back from defeating Chedorlaomer. In contrast to the frequent gory sacrifices told in the Bible, the offering of bread and wine foretells Christ in the Last Supper and reinforces the importance of the sacrament of the Eucharist.


Baroque Aesthetics

Rubens conceived a meeting with the full show characteristic of the Baroque: the king is luxuriously dressed in stoat and Abraham as a Roman general. There are different characters bringing food and amphorae, which, judging by the inclination of one of them, may not contain liquid but would be part of the tithe the patriarch gave the king.


Origin and restoration

This is one of the first tapestries which the visitors sees when entering the church. It was restored 20 years ago by Fundación Gremios (minor changes had also been made in the 19th century). The lower selvage has Brussels’ mark – B▼B – and that of the weaver – F•V•H – Frans van den Hecker.


Series Apotheosis of the Eucharist

Model Cartoon copied from an original by Rubens

Manufacture Brussels. Manufacture by Frans van den Hecke. Mid-17th century

Fabric Silk and wool, 7/8 warps per cm

Size 410 x 670 cm

Location Church of San Millán de la Cogolla, Oncala (Soria)

Origin A donation by Bishop Juan Francisco Ximénez del Río, c. 1800

On display Opposite the entrance door to the temple



MAZ



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