Tapestry part of a hanging of the History of Zenobia (queen of Palmyra from 267 à 272)
Flemish tapestry, probably Antwerp
Woven in wool and silk (wool warp, wool and silk weft)
First quarter of the 17th century
This legendary Eastern queen of the 3rd century was famous not only for her military science, but also for the artistic refinement of her court and for her surprisingly austere morals. Her story is told in the History Augustus (Flavius Vospicus, taken up by Tristan de Saint-Amant in 1644)
After the defeat of Emesa, Zenobia withdrew to Palmyra, the queen's final retreat. Another battle is fought in front of Palmyra. In the upper left corner of the tapestry, we can see the queen on her camel in the middle of the melee. The Palmyrians will soon open their doors to Aurelian and we see, at the top center of the tapestry, Zenobia forced to flee by boat on the Euphrates.