Skip to Content
Flemish tapestry, The Meeting of David and Abigail
Type
Tapestry
Subject
Biblical - Historical - Mythologic
 
 
 
Date
late 16th century
Material and technique
wool and silk
 
 
 
Measurements
282 x 176 cm
Compiler
Alessandro Zuccari
 
 
 
Description
The tapestry, woven in wool and silk, is of Flemish manufacture and dates from the end of the sixteenth century. It depicts the biblical story of the meeting of David and Abigail narrated in the First Book of Samuel.  The wedded couple are surrounded by a crowd of people and can be identified with certainty by the presence of two inscriptions on the hem of their robes. The top and bottom borders of the tapestry are decorated with rich festoons of flowers and fruit from which birds and squirrels peep out.
The manner of execution and the limited range of shades used indicate that the tapestry was probably manufactured by a provincial workshop, now unlikely to be identified. However, it has been suggested that it was made in Oudenarde, in western Flanders, where several series dedicated to the stories of David were produced in the 1580s and 1590s. More precise information about the commissioning of the work might be provided by an accurate interpretation of the large coat of arms, supported by two angels, in the upper portion of the panel, with a sunburst and surrounded by the motto ‘LAUDABILE NOMEN DOMINI’. The two protagonists may be portraits of contemporary characters, in which case the representation of the Old Testament couple could link the tapestry to the celebration of an aristocratic marriage.
The Meeting of David and Abigail
Related Themes