The Attack on La Goleta

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The Attack on La Goleta
The attack on Goleta lead by the Marquis del Vasto, Charles V’s chief commander and general is presented in this panel in an epic, panorama view.

Spanish and Turkish forces

The expansive landscape in the background is dominated by the military encounters and skirmishes of the emperor’s Spanish forces with the Turkish forces at La Goleta. To the far left, is the bay of Carthage where the naval armada of Charles V has landed. In the far distance, lies the city of Tunis. The foreground is filled with life-size figures enacting dramatic scenes: Turkish and Moorish horsemen are in combat with a German artillery unit (to far left) sent by the emperor as reinforcements. To the right, a dramatic moment: a Turk has beheaded a Christian soldier and hands the head to his general.


Torre de Agua

To the left, in the middle distance, is the Torre de Agua (the water tower mentioned in the long Spanish and Latin inscriptions) which imperial troops have finally gained control over and from where they have regrouped to attack enemy forces.


Bird’s eye view

The bird’s eye view in this panel is achieved with the sweeping perspectives deployed by Jan Vermeyen and Pieter Coecke van Aelst. One of the principal objectives that both artists aspired to in the entire series was to ensure that the viewer could always orientate and situate himself geographically in each panel by means of the perspective(s) used and the detailed written inscriptions.


Marks

The mark of Brabant-Brussels BdB. And in the guard border (right side) the weaver’s mark of Willem de Pannemaker before 1554


Banners

The one on the right, in the middle of the border was added to help situate the typography of the scene. This cartouche contains two the weaver’s marks of Willem Pannemaker and the following short inscription in Spanish:

Ymaginase la vista desta cuarta pieça baxando del campo de los lugares del cabo y viniendole a alojar a la torre del agua: dexando el extaño a la mano derecha y tomando el norte delante sobrel mismo lado

Longer cartouches contain explanatory inscriptions in Spanish (above) and Latin (below). These inscriptions were added to give the viewer a clearer picture of the complicated events.

Despues de aver estado el exercito en los lugares altos dos dias: donde ovo algunas escaramuças, y acabado de desembarcar el resto del exercito: el emperador acordo de baxar el real alollano para començar a sitiar la goleta y abaxando: los enemigos comieçan una escaramuça con los españoles nuevos, con los quales esta el marques del Gasto. El emperador embiadas tres vanderas de alemanes para reforçar aquella gente: buelve con parte de los españoles, soldados viejos, y de los alemanes y cavalleros, a cierta parte donde se pensava poder tomar en medio gran parte de los enemigos. Mas no se pude hazer con tanta presteza quellos no lo sintieren y asi se salvan huiendo. Regocida la gente, asientase el real en lo llano, junto a la torre del agua. Despues de algunos dias, los turcos de la goleta aiudandose de un viento deshecho que a los nuestros da en los ojos: salen a dar en los reparos començados que guardan los españoles. Unos con sus armas: otros con instrumentos, levantando el arena para cegarlos: mas de subito calmando el viento: Son encerrados por nuestros arcabuzeros en la Goleta.


CASTRA MOVET CAROLVS,

SED DVM DEDVCITVR AGMEN

HOSTIS IN EXTREMOS RVIT

ATQVE MORATVR EVNTES.

AGMINE CONVERSO POENE

INTECLVSUS INIQVO

IPSE LOCO REFVUGIT. MAGNO

QVVM TVRBINE VENTVS

INCVBVIT NOSTRIS DENSA

CALIGINE CAECIS

CALLIDVS ERVMPENS HOSTIS

CONVERTIT ARENAM

NON MINVS VT VALIDIS

PVGNET QVAM PVLVERE TELIS

PROTINVS VT VENTI POSVERE

REPELLITVR HOSTIS.


Series The Conquest of Tunis

Fourth tapestry in the series

Model Jan Vermeyen and Pieter Coecke van Aelst, 1543-1548

Manufacture Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara, Madrid, 1731-1744

Fabric Silk and wool

Size 525 x 925 cm

Location Royal Palace of Madrid

Origin The Conquest of Tunis set was comissioned by Charles V and it is not on display. These two panels are from the replica cycle comissioned by Philip V and finished by 1744

On display Royal Armoury



AJG



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