Tapestries and Armor
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tapestries and Armor is a permanent collection rotation featuring three tapestries from the Triumph of Seven Virtues series, from the Museum’s textiles holdings, along with two suits of armor from the collection of European decorative arts.
The Triumph of the Seven Virtues exemplifies the use of allegory in Renaissance tapestry traditions. Woven in Brussels around 1535, the seven tapestries represent the theological virtues—Faith, Hope, and Charity—along with the cardinal virtues—Temperance, Prudence, Justice, and Fortitude. While ten museums throughout Europe, the United States, and Russia possess tapestries from this series, the Fine Arts Museums uniquely preserve three of the four that depict the cardinal virtues, including the only extant example of Justice.
The two suits of armor accompanying the tapestry installation are contemporaneous with the textiles and date from around 1515 and 1540. The later suit is attributed to the workshop of the important Augsburg armorer Anton Peffenhauser.