Tapestries from the Dowry of Queen Bona Sforza d’Aragona Cover Image

Tapiserie z wyprawy ślubnej królowej Bony Sforzy d’Aragona
Tapestries from the Dowry of Queen Bona Sforza d’Aragona

Author(s): Agnieszka Bender
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, History of Art
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL & Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Keywords: Bona Sforza; tapestries; Works of Mercy; door curtains (portieres); Kraków; Bari

Summary/Abstract: Queen Bona Sforza d’Aragona, who came to the Kingdom of Poland from Bari in Italy in 1518, brought a handsome dowry, as described by Giuliano Passero. Among the large number of expensive items were tapestries – the “panni di razza”, which was a series of eight tapestries portraying the Works of Mercy and four door curtains (portieres). The aim of this article is to supplement the current knowledge about these tapestries by drawing conclusions from studies by Italian authors on the subject matter and their new interpretations, which were previously unknown in Polish literature. Based upon all currently available source information, namely works by Giuliano Passero, Colantonio Carmignano, Antonio Beatillo, Giovanni Battista Pacichelli and Giulio Petroni, we can infer that Bona donated four of the eight tapestries from the Works of Mercy, which had been made with great mastery, to the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari, probably because she considered the church to be a suitable place to preserve them. She also chose this particular church because she had a special devotion to its saint. The tapestries were placed in the basilica between 1520 and 1557. These fabrics were probably in the Bari church’s collection until the end of the 17th century. Presumably, this series, as well as Bona’s four portieres, have not survived to this day.

  • Issue Year: 69/2021
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 55-69
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish
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