Tapestry with Esther Presented to Ahasuerus - inv. 327

Brussels, late 15th - early 16th century

Tapestry with Esther Presented to Ahasuerus
metal thread   wool   silk  
255 x 308 cm
1890 acquisition 
Inv. 327

not on display

This is one of the most precious Flemish tapestries preserved in Italy. Esther is a heroine of the Old Testament, the young Jewish woman who interceded with the Persian King Ahasuerus (fifth century B.C.) to prevent the massacre of her people. The tapestry depicts the moment when Esther is presented to the sovereign, who raises his sceptre to indicate that he intends to listen to her. The king wears a striking hat with peacock feathers, and the costumes of all the other figures thronging the scene are similarly lavish. The weaving is technically close to perfection, executed with an abundance of metal thread and with subtle chromatic combinations of shades of red, yellow, blue, green and brown.