The defeat of the Midianites

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The defeat of the Midianites
This tapestry depicts Gideon’s second victory over the Midianites, in Transjordan. Gideon and his army had crossed the River Jordan and caught the decimated army by surprise; they barely managed to put up resistance and as a result the Israelites gained a definitive victory over the invaders. Although part of the tapestry has been lost, the weaver’s monogram can still be made out in the upper part of the right-hand selvage.

The second battle against the invaders

The biblical story makes clear that the encounter between Gideon and the Midianites and their allies happened in two phases. The first phase, which is depicted in the fifth tapestry (currently in restoration), was a stratagem formulated by Gideon: he approached the enemy camp with his three hundred men and threw them into confusion by sounding trumpets and smashing pitchers. The present tapestry – the sixth – shows the second battle, a definitive victory for GIdeon.

The Midianites are completely defeated

After capturing some of the princes of Midian, “Gideon and his three hundred men came to the Jordan and crossed it.” According to Judges 8, 10-12, the invading army had lost one hundred and twenty thousand soldiers, but fifteen thousand still remained, led by the princes Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon attacked and forced the enemies to flee, but he pursued them and took them as prisoners, to be put to death for their crimes.

Series Story of Gideon

Sixth tapestry in the series

Model Attributed to Maerten van Heemskerck

Manufacture Frans Geubels, Brussels, third quarter of the sixteenth century

Fabric Silk and wool

Size 371 x 333 cm

Location Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral of Albarracín (Teruel)

Origin Bequest of Bishop Vicente Roca de la Serna. In the cathedral since 1608


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