Artibus et Historiae no. 52 (XXVI)

2005, ISSN 0391-9064

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RYSZARD SZMYDKI - The Tapestry Series with The History of Joshua in Vienna and the Brussels Tapestry Makers Dermoyen

The name of the French tapestry maker, Jean Dermoyen, is connected with the purchase by the Emperor Charles V in 1544, of an artistically outstanding tapestry series, entitled The History of Joshua (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), made after the cartoons by Pieter Coecke van Aelst - the eminent painter, theoretician of architecture, sculptor and translator. The conditions of payment for the artwork were specified in Charles V's letter of 8 December 1544 to the officials of Chambre des Comptes in Lille. The artist's remuneration, in a total of 10 000 livres, was to be paid to the artist in installments over the period of three years, and the money was to derive from the income of the Treasury Office in Lille. One of the installments was paid on 28 March 1545 and Jean Dermoyen confirmed with his signature that the Treasury Office had hitherto paid him one half of the balance due. Signing the same invoice, the tapestry maker had put, beside his full signature, also his mark which can be read as ?IDG?. The importance of the document of 1545 consists in the fact that it allows to identify not only the artwork preserved in Vienna, but its maker as well.

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