Grand Design Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry Elizabeth Cleland

Publication date:
13 Oct 2014
Metropolitan Museum of Art
412 pages: 305 x 241mm
350 illus.
Sales territories:

Renowned throughout Renaissance Europe, Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502–1550) produced works for the wealthiest and most important patrons of the time, including Emperor Charles V, Francis I of France, Henry VIII of England, the Habsburgs, and Cosimo de Medici. While he is best known for his magnificent tapestries, he was also a consummate artist in other media, and the output from his workshop included painted altarpieces, as well as designs and cartoons for stained glass. This lavish publication, the first comprehensive volume devoted to this Renaissance master since 1966, introduces Pieter Coecke van Aelst to a contemporary audience and places him among the great artists of the 16th century. New photographs, including fine details, reunite twenty of the splendid Renaissance tapestries made to his designs with some of his finest surviving drawings and panel paintings, while texts by thirteen prominent scholars explore Coecke's art and world. Both a feast for the eyes and an important reappraisal of a great Renaissance master, this important study will stand as the comprehensive volume on a major artist of the Northern Renaissance.

Elizabeth A. H. Cleland is associate curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“[An] impressive catalogue. . . . The book provides a long-overdue reassessment of Coecke’s achievement and, above all, restores tapestry, the most important figurative art during the Renaissance, to its rightful role.”—Anne-Sophie Laruelle, Renaissance Quarterly.