1 - Joshua and David (from the Nine Heroes Tapestries)
2 - Alexander the Great or Hector of Troy (from the Nine Heroes Tapestries)
3 - Julius Caesar and Attendants (from the Nine Heroes Tapestries)
Date: ca. 1400–1410
Culture: South Netherlandish
Medium: Wool warp, wool wefts
Dimensions: 47.101.1: 168 x 250 in. (426.7 x 635 cm) 47.152: 168 x 250 in. (426.7 x 635 cm)
Credit Line: Munsey Fund, 1932; Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1947; Gift of George A. Douglass, 1947
Accession Number:32.130.3b; 47.101.1; 47.152
This tapestry is part of four hangings that have been reconstructed from what originally was a set of three tapestries depicting the Nine (or Ten?) Worthies. The heroes depicted included King Arthur, Joshua, David, Hector of Troy, and Julius Caesar, along with various attendants. One of the reconstructed hangings (32.130.2b, 47.101.1, 47.152) shows two of the three Hebrew Worthies in their settings and with nearly all of their attendant figures. Another represents King Arthur (32.130.2a, 47.101.4), one of the three or possibly four figures that appeared in the original tapestry devoted to the Christian Worthies, together with some attendant figures. The third and fourth pieces represent respectively Hector of Troy (47.101.2) and Julius Caesar (47.101.3), with attendant, taken from a third tapestry that depicted the three Pagan Worthies. Other fragments (47.101.5 and 49.123), showing architectural elements, bits of landscape, and the incomplete figures of three cardinals and a bishop, all apparently unconnected to those parts of the three original hangings that survive, are preserved separately in the Metropolitan Museum.
Marking: Arms (on thirteen banners atop turrets, on bosses of vaulting above Joshua and David): azure, seme of fleurs-de-lis gold, within a border engrailed gules [Arms of Jean duc de Berry];
(on banner next to end turret at right of tapestry): bendy of six, azure and gold [Arms of Burgundy];
(on shield at right of figure): argent, a dragon vert [Arms of Joshua];
(on shield at right of figure): azure, a harp gold [Arms of David]
[ Joel Joseph Duveen, London] [32.130.3b] ; Maurice Chabrieres-Arles, Lyon and Paris (by 1877) [32.130.3b] ; [ Duveen Brothers, Paris and New York (from late 1915) [32.130.3b] ; Clarence Mackay, Roslyn, NY (1924–sold 1932) [32.130.3b] ; Joel Joseph Duveen, London [47.101.1] ; Baron Arthur Schickler 1828–1919, chateau Martinvast, Normandy (from about 1872) [47.101.1] ; Count and Countess Hubert de Pourtales, chateau Martinvast, Normandy (sold by 1936) [47.101.1] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (by 1936–1947) ] [47.101.1] ; Clarence Mackay, Roslyn, NY [47.152] ; [ Raphael Stora and Co., New York, New York (?)] [47.152] ; George A. Douglass, Sr., New York (until 1947) [47.152]
King Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, detail from the "Christian Heroes Tapestry" dated c. 1385. "Arthur among the Nine Worthies is always identified by three crowns, which signify regality, on his standard, his shield, or his robe." -- Geoffrey Ashe, The Quest for Arthur's Britain [Praeger, 1969].
1385 Atelier de Nicolas Bataille les neuf preux, detail Tapisserie
Tapisseries des neuf preux sont conserves (4 fragments perdues) au Cloisters du Metropolitan museum of Art de New York. Attribuees a Nicolas Bataille a qui l'ont doit egalement la tenture de l'Apocalypse d'Angers. Pays bas bourguignons ou nord de la France vers 1400.
The Nine Heroes Tapestries, representing the Hebrew heroes: Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, the Christian heroes: Charlemagne, Arthur, and Godfrey of Boullion, and the pagan heroes: Hector, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar, are thought to be made around 1385 by Nicolas Bataille. It is not positive that Bataille is the artist; however, another set of tapestries, the Apocalypse Tapestries in Angers, France, made by Bataille shares the same characteristics as the Nine Heroes.