Woven Epics: Tapestry in the Norton Simon
Workshop Unknown, Brussels, Arrival of Paris and Helen at the Court of Priam, King of Troy, c. 1500–25, wool and silk, The Norton Simon Foundation
- 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Delve into tapestries depicting scenes from the Trojan War in the exhibition Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido. Look at the Trojan War through a medieval lens, exploring the story’s treatment and significance for audiences of the day. Then learn about the production and role of these kinds of tapestries and look for evidence of contemporary courtly life in the scenes portrayed in them.
- The program is free with admission and limited to 20 participants.
- Meets in Entrance Gallery
Virgil’s tale of Dido and Aeneas, from books 1 and 4 of the Aeneid, tells of the Queen of Carthage, a complex figure noted for her strength and character. She meets the shipwrecked Aeneas and the two fall in love, a union that could not survive Aeneas’s destiny to leave Carthage and found Rome. This tragic love story found fertile ground in the medium of tapestry, and Giovanni Francesco Romanelli designed what is perhaps the most famous suite to retell it. In the context of 17th-century Europe, the figure of Dido became a paradigm for dutiful leadership and the perils that accompanied it, especially with regard to female rulers. This lecture considers the popularity of the Romanelli-designed tapestries and how wealthy aristocrats acquired them as a means to message their authority. New discoveries about the history of the Museum’s Death of Dido tapestry and the suite to which it belonged will be presented for the first time MORE INFO
Join us for a lively evening program focused on the loan of Titian’s Lady in White and the exhibition Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido. Throughout the evening, enjoy live music in the galleries, a weaving demonstration by tapestry weaver Yadin Larochette, art-making activities for visitors of all ages, Italian-themed food and wine for sale in the café and more. MORE INFO
Nancy Evans Dance Theatre explores through dance, music, art and text the tragic love story between Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Prince Aeneas of Troy from Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid. Branching off from Virgil’s tale, this powerful performance tells the tale of Dido from her perspective. Following the performance, audience members enjoy a question-and-answer period with the choreographer and dancers. MORE INFO