The subject matter of the series derives from the Acts of the Apostles. In this tapestry, Saint Paul performs two actions and one miracle as recounted in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the Book of Acts. The main action takes place in the foreground, in an open space before a...
The subject matter of the series derives from the Acts of the Apostles. In this tapestry, Saint Paul performs two actions and one miracle as recounted in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the Book of Acts. The main action takes place in the foreground, in an open space before a semi-circular building (intended to represent the Temple of Diana at Euphesus). Saint Paul, standing left of center, gestures toward a group of men at the right who brings piles and baskets of books which they throw on a mound of wheat stalks that have just begun to burn. A cartouche in the center of the upper border bears an inscription as follows : PLERIQVE EPHESII PER PAVLI SERMONEM CONVERSI MAGICOS/LIBROS PRECIO AERIS L M EXVRRVNT ("Many Ephesians, converted by Paul's discourse, burn books of magic worth fifty thousand copper coins.") In the upper left corner of the tapestry Saint Paul appears again with a group of men in a clearing before a building. Eleven of the men kneel before him and a twelth stands next to him. This scene illustrates Acts XIX : 1-7 in which Saint Paul, having gone to Epheusus, laid his hands upon a group of disciples who thereby received the Holy Spirit. The inscription in the cartouche above this scene reads as follows : XII VIRI EPHESII, PAVLO IMPONENTE MANVS, ACCIPIVNT SPIRITVM SANCTV ("When Paul lays his hands upon them, twelve men of Ephesus receive the Holy Spirit.") The third scene, in the upper right corner of the tapestry, illustrates a miracle that took place later in Paul's life. It is described in Acts XX:9-12. The scene is described in the cartouche above: PAVLO PROLIXIVS DISSERETE ADOLESCES EVTILICI SONO OPPRESS DECIDIT MORTV PAVL EV SVSCITAT ("And while Paul was discoursing at length, the youth Eutychus, overcome by sleep, fell to his death. Paul revives him.") A broad garland of leaves, interwined with fruits and flowers, runs the lenght of each segment of the border. Putti paly or rest among the vegetable forms, and a number of birds - among them an owl in the left border and a pheasant in the lower border-perch on the garlands or peck at food.
See Description above.
Private collection, Austria [see note 1]. By 1920, Bachstitz Gallery, The Hague; 1924, sold by Bachstitz to the Detroit Institute of Arts; 1947, sold by the Detroit Institute of Arts to French and Company, New York (stock no. 45152); 1965, sold by French and Co. to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 12, 1965) NOTES:  According to Ludwig Baldass, "Masterpieces of the Art of Flemish Tapestry-Weaving," Bulletin of the Bachstitz Gallery, September 1924, n.p.
Charles Potter Kling Fund
Second third of the 16th century