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'''Collections kept in Spain'''
 
'''Collections kept in Spain'''
  
'''In the nineteenth century''', painting took over as the principal art form and tapestry-making came to be viewed as a minor art– a mere handicraft. Despite the fact that tapestries accentuated the wealth and luxury of their owners, the new aesthetic ideas of the time meant that these panels were often put away and many were lost forever. Fortunately, the bulk of the royal collection was preserved and today, thanks to its status as '''National Heritage''', we can still view magnificent series made between the late fifteenth century and the eighteenth century. Thus, the collections open to viewing in the '''Royal Palace of Madrid''', the '''Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial''', the '''Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso''' and the''' Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid''' are unparalleled in the world.
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<b>In the 19th century</b> painting took over as the leading art form and tapestry making came to be viewed as a lesser art – a mere handicraft. Despite the fact that tapestries accentuated the wealth and luxury of their owners, the new aesthetic ideas of the time meant that these panels were often put away and many were lost forever. Fortunately, the bulk of the royal collection was preserved and today, thanks to its status as <b>National Heritage</b>, we can still view magnificent series made in the 15th to 18th centuries. Thus, the collections open to viewing in the <b>Royal Palace in Madrid</b>, the <b>Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial</b> and the <b>Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso</b> are unparalleled in the world.
  
'''It is undoubtedly the best display of tapestry-making''', although there are tapestries in other collections of equal value. The pieces kept by National Heritage are particularly important not only because of their quantity and quality – many of them contain silver and gold – but also because of the care which has been taken maintaining and displaying them. Distributed over the main former palaces of the monarchy, a large proportion of the tapestries which gradually came into the royal Spanish collection can be seen today.
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<b>The tapestries owned by the nobility and clergy suffered a worse fate</b>. Many were destroyed with the passing of time and, until well into the 20th century, others were put up for sale; some are currently on display in museums in the United States of America. Nevertheless, some magnificent examples have been preserved in cathedrals, for example, four panels depicting the Trojan War formerly belonging to the Counts of Tendilla are now kept in the Cathedral of Zamora. There are also some spectacular tapestries in the Cathedrals of <b>Burgos</b> and <b>Palencia</b>, bequeathed by Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca. The collection in the Cathedral of <b>Toledo</b> is extraordinary, although some tapestries are only displayed on feast days such as Corpus Christi. Other tapestries are safeguarded in the <b>Museum of Santa Cruz</b> in Toledo, although only the Astrolabe Tapestry is on display. Special mention should also be made of four panels depicting the conquest of Asilah and Tangiers by Alfonso V of Portugal, owned by the Collegiate Church of <b>Pastrana</b> (Guadalajara) and recently restored thanks to the intervention of the Carlos de Amberes Foundation. It is even possible, in a place as remote from the larger cities as <b>Oncala (Soria)</b>, to find a splendid series such as the <i>Apotheosis of the Eucharist</i>, the cartoons for which are a replica of those made by Rubens for a series of the same name kept in the Convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid.In Albarracín (Teruel) it is also viable to contemplate a magnificent tapestry serie on the Story of Gideon.
 
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'''The tapestries owned by the nobility and clergy suffered a worse fate'''. Many were destroyed with the passing of time and, until well into the twentieth century, others were put up for sale; some are currently on display in museums in the USA. Nevertheless, some magnificent examples have been preserved in cathedrals, including four panels depicting the Trojan War which used to belong to the Counts of Tendilla and are now kept in the Cathedral of'''&nbsp;Zamora'''. There are also some spectacular tapestries in the Cathedrals of&nbsp;'''Burgos and Palencia''', bequeathed by Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca. The collection in the Cathedral of '''Toledo'''&nbsp;is extraordinary, although some tapestries are only displayed on feast days such as Corpus Christi. Other tapestries are safeguarded in the&nbsp;'''Museum of Santa Cruz'''&nbsp;in Toledo, although only the ''Astrolabe Tapestry'' is on display. Special mention should also be made of four panels depicting the conquest of Asilah and Tangiers by Alfonso V of Portugal, owned by the Collegiate of&nbsp;'''Pastrana '''(Guadalajara) and recently restored thanks to the intervention of the '''Carlos de Amberes Foundation'''. Even in places which are remote from larger cities, such as in&nbsp;'''Oncala (Soria) '''and''' Albarracín (Teruel)''', we find treasures of tapestry-making. The former holds a splendid series on the&nbsp;''Apotheosis of the Eucharist'', the cartoons for which are a replica of those made by Rubens for a series of the same name kept in the Convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The latter is home to a magnificent group of tapestries on the ''Story of Gideon. ''
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Revision as of 13:40, 2 December 2014



The Pastrana tapestries.
1st cloth in Conquest of Asilah and Tangier by Afonso V of Portugal. Tournai workshops, a likely manufacture by Passchier Grenier.
Recently restored thanks to the intervention of the Carlos de Amberes Foundation.
Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana, Spain.

Collections kept in Spain

In the 19th century painting took over as the leading art form and tapestry making came to be viewed as a lesser art – a mere handicraft. Despite the fact that tapestries accentuated the wealth and luxury of their owners, the new aesthetic ideas of the time meant that these panels were often put away and many were lost forever. Fortunately, the bulk of the royal collection was preserved and today, thanks to its status as National Heritage, we can still view magnificent series made in the 15th to 18th centuries. Thus, the collections open to viewing in the Royal Palace in Madrid, the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso are unparalleled in the world.

The tapestries owned by the nobility and clergy suffered a worse fate. Many were destroyed with the passing of time and, until well into the 20th century, others were put up for sale; some are currently on display in museums in the United States of America. Nevertheless, some magnificent examples have been preserved in cathedrals, for example, four panels depicting the Trojan War formerly belonging to the Counts of Tendilla are now kept in the Cathedral of Zamora. There are also some spectacular tapestries in the Cathedrals of Burgos and Palencia, bequeathed by Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca. The collection in the Cathedral of Toledo is extraordinary, although some tapestries are only displayed on feast days such as Corpus Christi. Other tapestries are safeguarded in the Museum of Santa Cruz in Toledo, although only the Astrolabe Tapestry is on display. Special mention should also be made of four panels depicting the conquest of Asilah and Tangiers by Alfonso V of Portugal, owned by the Collegiate Church of Pastrana (Guadalajara) and recently restored thanks to the intervention of the Carlos de Amberes Foundation. It is even possible, in a place as remote from the larger cities as Oncala (Soria), to find a splendid series such as the Apotheosis of the Eucharist, the cartoons for which are a replica of those made by Rubens for a series of the same name kept in the Convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid.In Albarracín (Teruel) it is also viable to contemplate a magnificent tapestry serie on the Story of Gideon.


Miguel Ángel Zalama



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