The King Tapestries at Kronborg Castle: A "Mirror of Princes" for a Protestant Prince

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskning

In the 1580s, Frederik II (Danish-Norwegian king, reigned 1559-1588) had the Great Hall at Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, furnished with 43 tapestries portraying no fewer than 100 Danish kings. The tapestries were arranged chronologically, beginning with King Dan, the mythological founder of the kingdom, and ending with Frederik II and his son, the future King Christian IV. The tapestries, fifteen of which are still preserved, were created in Elsinore by Dutch weavers under the management of Hans Knieper. Each of the remaining tapestries consists of an illustration in the centre, presenting the life-size portraits on landscape backgrounds. Rhymed monologues are inserted on the upper part of the surrounding bordure, while the lower part displays the royal coats of arms. The main argument of this paper is that the tapestry series constituted a carefully constructed piece of propaganda, pleading Frederik II’s case in his ongoing diplomatic disputes with the neighbouring kingdom of Sweden and staging the Danish-Norwegian king as a key protagonist of the protestant movement. By combining the portraits of – mostly legendary – kings with pretentious monologues, symbolic or emblematic details dispersed in the backgrounds, and more or less fancifully conceived coats of arms, the tapestry series provided «historical» evidence justifying the rising political ambitions of Frederik II.
TitelStudies in Western Tapestry (SWT 7) : Portrait and Tapestry/Portrait et Tapisserie
RedaktørerPhilippe Bordes, Pascal-Francois Bertrand
Antal sider16
ForlagBrepols Publishers
Udgivelsesårokt. 2015
ISBN (trykt)978-2-503-54088-7
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2015
SerietitelStudies in Western Tapestry
Vol/bindSWT 7

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