The Story of Troy. The Pardon of Helen

Brussels Manufactory1515 - 1525

Fundación Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander
Madrid, Spain

The Story of Troy was one of the most popular subjects for tapestries during the 15th century and the first third of the following century, while some tapestries on this theme continued to be made during the Baroque period.

Numerous tapestries on the episodes arising from the love of Paris and Helen were produced first by weavers in Tournai followed by those in Brussels workshops. Rather than looking directly to Homer as their source, they based themselves on medieval and early Renaissance interpretations that translated the events of the Iliad into modern languages.

This identification between European chivalrous culture and the epic deeds of the Greek heroes is reflected in the tapestry sets that have survived to the present day or which are known from documentary evidence.

Both this panel and the one entitled Cassandra intercedes before Priam to obtain a Pardon for Paris (also in the Colección Santander) were woven in silk and wool between 1515 and 1525. They were made in a Brussels manufactory that used preparatory cartoons by Jan van Rome, painter to Margarita of Austria. This designer was also responsible for the petits patrons for major series such as Scenes from the Life of the Virgin, The Story of David and Bathsheba, woven various times by M. Moer and others (Royal collection, Madrid), and The Story of Herkenbald (Brussels).


  • Title: The Story of Troy. The Pardon of Helen
  • Date Created: 1515 - 1525
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w2470 x h3200 mm (Complete)
  • Manufactory: Brussels Manufactory
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Type: Tapestry
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Wool and silk

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