- Museum number
History of David, one of five designs for tapestries; Saul arming David, in the background to right, Saul attacking David with a javelin, at centre a battle between the Israelites and Philistines, and left David bringing Saul two hundred foreskins of the Philistines
Pen and brown ink, with grey wash
Verso: Illegible sketch
Watermark: Crowned coat-of-arms charged with three fleur-de-lys within a bordure (cf Briquet 1827, dated around 1517)
- Production date
Height: 229 millimetres
Width: 418 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- One of five design drawings in the BM for the Story of David tapestry series (c. 1530), woven in Brussels, a set of six tapestries is preserved in the Burgos Cathedral. See also 1853,1008.14-17. The five drawings have been ascribed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst as early as 1741; yet many have noticed stylistic differences between his Life of St. Paul tapestry design drawings, and they are equally distinct from Van Orley's signed drawings in Munich. Stijn Alsteens attributes this group of five drawings to the circle of Bernard van Orley, c. 1525-30; they lack the fluid style and emphasis on movement and emotions that characerize the master's tapestry designs, and are more carefully executed and detailed. All five drawings bear a small crescent in pen and brown ink on the verso, thought to refer to Coecke's arms, and the present drawin is inscribed with Coecke's full name in sixteenth-century handwriting. These drawings might have been executed by a young Coecke in Van Orley's shop c. 1524, or an as-of-yet unidentified talented workshop assistant. See E. Cleland, ed., Grand Design, Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry, New York and New Haven, 2014, pp. 44-48.
Literature: M. Bénard, 'Cabinet de M. Paignon Dijonval', Paris, 1810, no. 1206/1, p. 61; Waagen, IV, 1857, pp.39-40.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number