UNRAVELING CHRISTS PASSION: ARCHBISHOP DALMAU DE MUR, PATRON AND COLLECTOR, AND FRANCO-FLEMISH TAPESTRIES IN FIFTEENTH-CENTURY SPAIN
This dissertation considers the artistic patronage of Dalmau de Mur i de Cervelló (13761456), a high-ranking Catalan prelate little known outside Spain. As Bishop of Girona (14161419), Archbishop of Tarragona (14191431) and Archbishop of Zaragoza (14311456), Dalmau de Mur commissioned and acquired of works of art, including illuminated manuscripts, panel paintings, sculpted altarpieces, metalwork and tapestries. Many of these objects survive, including two remarkable tapestries depicting the Passion of Christ that he bequeathed to Zaragoza Cathedral upon his death in 1456. Surviving primary documents, particularly Dalmau de Murs testament and the Cathedral inventory of 1521, show that his collection was still more significant.
A major part of the dissertation is a study of the style and iconography of the Passion of Christ tapestries at Zaragoza Cathedral. They were woven in the French northern counties of Flanders or Artois in the early fifteenth century. Technically, they are among the earliest surviving examples of tapestry that comprise silk, silver and gold threads. Furthermore, they are the only surviving Franco-Flemish tapestries to have been imported into an ecclesiastical collection in Spain. Dalmau de Murs acquisition marks the beginning of an important phase of the artistic exchange between northern and southern Europe that would culminate in the patronage of the Catholic Kings later in the fifteenth century.
The Zaragoza tapestries are also the oldest extant tapestries that represent the Passion of Christ. Consequently, they provide a rare insight into the treatment of Passion iconography in the rich and expensive medium of luxury tapestry during the early fifteenth century. An extensive iconographic survey reveals that the designers of the Zaragoza Passion tapestries were influenced by a select group of objects owned by the leading patrons of art in FranceKing Charles V and his brothers, the Dukes of Berry, Burgundy and Anjou. Stylistic criteria confirm that the designers of the Zaragoza tapestries were French or Flemish artists who either worked for the French royal court or knew the objects produced by French court artists.
Advisor:M. Alison Stones; Ann Sutherland Harris; David Wilkins; Bruce L. Venarde
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:history of art and architecture
Date of Publication:06/10/2008