Art & War in the Renaissance: The Battle of Pavia Tapestries

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Art & War in the Renaissance, published on the occasion of a major traveling exhibition, presents distinctive arms and armor within the rich context of an important tapestry series to highlight the beauty of Renaissance Europe’s war culture.

This significant contribution to art history and military display explores the art of war, from ceremonial armor, arquebuses, and swords to the sumptuous Flemish tapestries depicting the battle of Pavia, the 1525 battle between King François I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V that arguably shaped modern European history.

A vehicle for prestige and propaganda, the unprecedented suite of tapestries from the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte captures the life-size action of the battle of Pavia, as designed by Bernard van Orley, the leading Brussels artist of the time who was famous throughout Renaissance Europe. 

The book showcases sixteenth-century fashions, including fine armor, intricately detailed weapons, and haute couture costumes for men of war from the Armeria Farnese, one of Europe's most significant dynastic armories. Essays by leading scholars delve into the Neapolitan d’Avalos family archive, the conservation efforts to restore the works, as well as their preparatory drawings, now housed at the Louvre. Extensive color plates and many lush details complete this notable volume.


Hardcover; 206 pages