16th Century Silk And Wool Antique Flemish Old Testament Biblical Tapestry 72008
Amazing 16th Century Antique Flemish Silk And Wool Old Testament Biblical Tapestry Depicting Joseph Meeting His Brothers, Country Of Origin: Belgium, Circa Date: 16th Century – By the 16th century, much of the tapestry weaving industry was centered in France, Flanders, and several Flemish cities. For the next hundred years, Flemish tapestries would set a new standard in technique, color and intricacy of the designs. These captivating antique tapestries were much sought-after, and finding one today is a special treat. So it is exciting to be able to offer this fine example of 16th-century Flemish tapestry weaving along with its interesting story.
These mostly green colored tapestries often formed the backdrop in formal interior design settings. They allowed the furniture to be arranged so that you almost blended into the scene when sitting in front of them. This one is silk and wool, which allows an exceptional level of detail in the elements of the piece. Many of the tapestries themes of were biblical / religious in nature. This one is an excellent example and depicts the meeting between Joseph and his brothers.
The biblical story depicted in this biblical tapestry can be found in the Old Testament book of Genesis and takes place during a time of famine in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers arrive from Canaan, modern day Israel, and do not recognize him. He chose not to reveal himself to them. Joseph knew his brothers could be untrustworthy because, twenty years earlier, they had treated him harshly and sold him into slavery. He wanted to see if he could trust them if he chose to help them. To test their true character, he made accusations he knew were unfounded in an attempt to find out how they would react.
Joseph used his power and performed an interrogation that bordered on deception. In the end, Joseph’s brothers proved themselves to be honorable by returning the silver he had secretly hidden in their baggage. He tested them further by treating his brother, Benjamin, more generously than the others. The brothers once again proved that they would not fall into animosity as they had done earlier.
Joseph’s brothers were in a dire predicament and would have given anything to survive. Joseph did not necessarily take advantage of them, but rather, acted with prudence. He did not exploit his brother’s situation and extract a much larger share of silver than he received. They were necessary to make sure the brothers were trustworthy.
Several things are important about the design and composition of this biblical tapestry. The first is that it takes place at the exact time when Joseph meets his brothers. Joseph and the person standing behind him are dressed in lavish clothing made from fine cloth and wearing Turkish headdresses. His brothers are dressed in clothing of a much lower class, as are the others in the scene.
You can find depictions of angels and demons, alluding to the conscious choice Joseph must make. The scene of this biblical tapestry contains abundant plant life, but not as much as you would expect from a “Verdure” tapestry of the time, which also makes it unique among Flemish tapestries. You can see the beginnings of the Verdure style, which would develop by the latter portion of the century. The artist was able to capture a high level of detail in the faces, making this one stand out as an exquisite representation of tapestries of the time.
This piece is both beautiful and rare, making it perfect for the Judaica collector or anyone who wants to add a piece of biblical history to their home or office. Even though this is a large tapestry, they were intended to be hung on the wall as a backdrop to the room. You could also use this one as the foundation for an arrangement of fine furniture or as they were originally intended as a wall hanging. Regardless of its final destination, this piece stands out for its workmanship, artistry and important historical message. This outstanding green colored biblical tapestry will make a beautiful addition to any home decor, office decor or as a part of a fine art collection.