NICOLAAS VAN ORLEY
The design of this tapestry and of the earlier version woven by Cornelis de Ronde before 1569 and now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, can be attributed to Nicolaas van Orley on the basis of comparisons to the stylistically closely related Romans and Sabines series that bears Nicolaas' monogram. Nicolaas was a nephew of the famous Brussels tapestry designer Bernard van Orley (d. 1541).
As mentioned above, this tapestry is based on the same design as that by de Ronde but depicts updated vestments and a slightly changed overall design. A companion tapestry to the offered tapestry depicting Alexander Kneeling before Jaddus includes the weaver's monogram that has recently been identified with that of Tseraerts (d. before 1613) by Guy Delmarcel. Tseraerts, although not well recorded or recognized, was a major tapestry producer in Brussels in the late 16th early 17th Century. The attribution to him can be further strengthened as he or another member of his family with identical name was the son-in-law of de Ronde who wove the earlier versions of this series.
For a full study of the series, please see K. Brosens, European Tapestries in the Art Institute of Chicago, New Haven, 2008, cat. 16, pp. 122 - 127.
Charles Mather Ffoulke (d. 1909) was a wool-merchant and a major tapestry collector in Philadelphia and later Washington. His most important purchase happend when he traveled to Europe in 1889 and met Princess Barberini. He agreed to purchase the entire tapestry collection consisting of no less than 135 tapestries from her. He continued buying tapestries in Europe and selling some to his friends in America until his death in 1909. The Ffoulke Collection of Tapestries written in large parts by him and published posthumously in New York in 1913 illustrates a large part of his collection.