Leo X – a pope of pre-eminent virtue and amplitude – was said to have founded after many centuries an age of gold. — Paolo Giovio, 1551
When Pope Benedict XVI visited England last month he came bearing a gift, well at least a loan. He brought with him the Sistine Tapestries by Raphael.
Commissioned almost 500 years ago by the Medici Pope Leo X for the Sistine Chapel and currently on display at the V&A in London, this is the first time the tapestries have been reunited with the original cartoons.
The tapestries are breathtaking. Amazing detail. For example The Miraculous Draft of Fishes shows in the distance a small town and small figures can be seen watching the scene from the shore.
The tapestries and cartoons are an example of High Renaissance Art. Michelangelo did the ceiling, Raphael the tapestries. The tapestries were woven at the workshops of Pieter van Aelst in Brussels, the centre for tapestry weaving in Europe. The tapestries are woven from threads of wool, silk, silver and gold.
The tapestries depicts Acts by St Peter and St Paul.
The Miraculous Draft of Fishes
Christ Charge to Peter
The Sacrifice of Lystra
The Healing of the Lame Man
I have never been to the V&A before. When I was younger I used to visit the other nearby museums, but never the V&A.
I had hoped to visit with my lovely friend Sian, but sadly she is poorly. I have booked two tickets for next week. Hopefully she will be well enough to visit next week.