Tapestry part of the History of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra (267 to 272 AD)
Flemish tapestry, Antwerp or Brussels
Woven in wool and silk (wool warp, wool and silk weft)
First quarter of the 17th century
The tapestry has preserved superb vivid colors; it is framed by an astonishing border decorated with scrolls of acanthus leaves of flowers, small characters, vases of goldsmithery old gold on a bottom whose color varies from the dark red to the pinkish beige. The borders whose background color varies from a light tone to a darker tone is an effect that was used in Oudenaarde, but especially in the eighteenth century.
This legendary Eastern queen of the third century was famous not only for her military science, but also for the artistic refinement of her court and for her surprisingly austere morals. Its history is told in the History Augustus (Flavius Vospicus, taken again by Tristan de Saint-Amant in 1644). On the present tapestry, Aurelian lets Zenobia live on condition that she goes to live in another place that he will assign to her and she will have to pay to the treasure of Rome her gems, her gold and silver, the silk, the horses, the camels.