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The Pastrana Tapestries of King Afonso V of Portugal: The Invention of Glory

Barbara von Barghahn, professor of art history, The George Washington University The Pastrana Tapestries are among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries in the world and are on view for the first time in the United States in the exhibition The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries at the National Gallery of Art from September 18, 2011, through January 8, 2012. From Jan van Eyck's commemoration in Ghent of the 1415 conquest of Ceuta to Passquier Grenier's documentation in Tournai of the 1471 taking of Tangiers, Portuguese and Spanish art specialist Barbara von Barghahn considers "portraits of power" in the context of chivalric ideals; the imaging of triumph in the clash of arms; the palatine display of tapestries as a visual chronicle of a contemporary epic; and the fame accrued from the North African campaigns that initiated an age of navigation and a transformation of the medieval world picture in this lecture recorded on December 18, 2011.