To Look, to Tell, and to Imagine. The Perception of the Battle and the Tapestries of the Troia Battle in the Collection of Ferrante of Naples
Ferrante owned one of the finest and most prestigious series of 15th-century tapestries, the Fall of Troy. Originally conceived in the early 1470’s for Charles the Temerarious, the series had then been reproduced exclusively for the most important European rulers. Only four tapestries of this series survive today in Zamora, Spain, as they were part of a gift of the Neapolitan king to the Spanish ambassador Mendoza. This essay deals with the perception and interpretation of these tapestries, focusing on the visual and verbal narrative of the battle scenes. Analyzing the relationship between the visual narrative, the inscriptions, and the literary texts, it argues that tapestries such as the series of the Fall of Troy developed a specific narrative genre that was to become one of the most representative secular themes in the pictorial arts of the 16th century.