The unusual design of this tapestry with its beribboned frame border with reserves to the angles recalls ceiling designs of the late 17th century. It is likely that rather than being hung on a wall this tapestry was used horizontally, either as a table tapestry or more probably as the underside of a canopy, possibly for a throne. The arrangement of the ribbons would suggest the latter and the subject of the tapestry would further suggest such a use. A regent or council, seated beneath it, would be continuously reminded of their duties but the subjects would also be given the sense that higher powers support the person or group seated before them.
LODEWIJK VAN SCHOOR
The design of this tapestry can be attributed to Lodewijk van Schoor (d. 1726) on the basis of the figural compositions and faces and dated to circa 1685. Van Schoor was one of the major figures of tapestry design in the late 17th early 18th century. He was accepted as a master in Antwerp in 1664 and later enrolled in the Brussels painters guild in 1678. Numerous, mainly allegorical tapestry series by him are known and include the Four Seasons (M. Crick-Kuntziger, Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis te Brussel, Catalogus van de Wandtapijten, Brussels, n.d., pl. 84), the Continents (L. Baldass, Die Wiener Gobelinssammlung, Vienna, 1920, cats. 284 - 287), Euridice (Baldass, op. cit., cats. 278 - 279) and Perseus and Andromeda (Crick-Kunziger, op. Cit., pl. 86).
JEROEN LE CLERC
Both Jean Le Clerc (d. 1672) and his son, Jeroen (Hieronymus) Le Clerc (d. 1722) who took over the workshop of his father, used the same weaver's signature 'I. LECLERC'. The probable date of this design would suggest that it was Jeroen who wove the tapestry. Jeroen supplied a number of highly regarded tapestries including The Art of War series at Blenheim Palace as well as the Arms of William and Mary.
We are grateful to Koen Brosens for his help in cataloguing and researching this tapestry.