Barberini Tapestries Reborn from the Ashes

Barberini Tapestries Shine Again

Beautifully restored from severe damage caused by a fire, the Barberini tapestries made their big debut yesterday evening at the fourth largest Christian church in the world. And the Nazmiyal team was ever grateful to witness it. Reaching nearly 16 feet in height, the restoration of these woven baroque works of art were restored by the Textile Conservation Laboratory at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where they are on display through June 25th, 2017.

Barberini Tapestries: Detail of The Birth of Christ
Barberini Tapestries: Detail of The Birth of Christ

Commission by Cardinal Francesco Barberini in 1643, the enormity of the tapestries was fitting to that of the cathedral, where the tapestries are hung side by side throughout three small chapels. It was exciting to see these tapestries treated as they would have been in the 17th century, hung prominently for viewing rather than as something in the background. And in the fresh new platform of an exhibition!

Barberini Tapestries: The Crucifixion, currently on display at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
Barberini Tapestries: The Crucifixion, currently on display at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

Once adorned in St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican, the tapestries suffered tremendous damage from a devastating fire on December 18th, 2001. Quite literally reborn from the ashes, they have now been beautifully restored, thanks an amazing team of people including Ligia Fernandez, who Jason Nazmiyal had the privilege of meeting at the opening last night. Jason chatted with Ligia about the process of bringing these rare pieces back to life to find that it was no easy task.

Designed by the painter Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, the exhibition will bring you back to what it would have been like to see tapestries in a Baroque chapel, many moons ago. For a hint of Rome in NYC, if you are in town, the Nazmiyal Collection is pleased to encourage you to go see this magnificent exhibition.

This Antique Carpet Blog was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs