• Tapestry: Fishing-Ships in the Sea

    Technique:
    tapestry weaving
    Dimensions:
    350x389 cm

Tapestry: Fishing-Ships in the Sea

Flanders, Brussels, second half of the 16th century

The composition of this tapestry depicting a fishing scene is invested with a deep symbolic meaning. In the foreground, nearly at the centre, is a large kingfisher, holding a fish in its claw - the personification of goddess Alcyone, the daughter of Aeolus – and representing a patron of fishermen, a symbol of peace, quiet, fertility and prosperity. The bird's depiction is directly related to what is going on in the middle distance, where a flotilla of fishing vessels is seen offloading a good catch. Two herons in the foreground at the left also have a symbolic meaning associated with Neptune. The appearance of the heron was interpreted as a favourable omen associated with peace and fertility. Behind the fishing boats used for a peaceful purpose is a war vessel firing cannon shot. The ensigns of two types are flown: a standard with the image of the Cross of Burgundy, the symbol of Burgundy, and the flag with the imperial double-headed eagle, the Habsburg dynasty coat of arms. Along the ship's board are placed fourteen coat of arms of different Netherlandish towns, such as Louvain, Maastricht and others. The tapestry composition can lead to an assumption that this piece was commissioned to decorate a public building or a building owned by the guild engaged in fishing and fish trade. Two characters pointing at what is going on at sea hint at the patrons' occupation.

Title:

Tapestry: Fishing-Ships in the Sea

Place of creation:

Material:

Technique:

tapestry weaving

Dimensions:

350x389 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1950; handed over from the Board of Art Exhibitions and Panoramas

Inventory Number:

Т-15430

Collection:

Subcollection: