I. Buchanan, Habsburg Tapestries, Turnhout, Brepols, 2015 (Studies in Western Tapestry, 4). 374 p., ISBN : 978-2-503-51670-7, 150€.
This publication presents a descriptive catalogue of the Flemish tapestries collected by the Habsburg rulers of the Low Countries, that examines their historical and cultural context.
The Flemish tapestries collected by the Habsburg rulers of the Low Countries are among the most beautiful art works of the Renaissance period. This book places these important tapestries in their historical and cultural context. Part I of the book examines the relationship between the Habsburgs and the tapestry industry in the Low Countries, the roles of the artists who designed the tapestries, the weavers who made them, and of the tapissiers, the court officials who looked after the royal tapestry collections. This is followed by four chapters which document and survey the collections formed by the Habsburg rulers of the Low Countries : Margaret of Austria, the Emperor Charles V, Mary of Hungary and Philip II of Spain. Part II of the book is a detailed catalogue of thirteen of the most important surviving Habsburg sets. These include such important tapestries as the Honours, the Hunts of Maximilian, the Armorials of Charles V, the Seven Deadly Sins, the History of Vertumnus and Pomona and the Apocalypse. Every tapestry of each set is given detailed analysis and all are reproduced in full colour in over 100 colour plates. An extensive Appendix gives many of the original documents concerning the tapestries as well as the most important surviving Habsburg tapestry inventories from the period.
The author is a specialist in Northern Renaissance art who has published widely on the patronage and collecting of renaissance painting and tapestries.