Wirkteppich, Pfalzgraf Ottheinrich (aus der Serie der Neuburger Bildnisteppiche)

Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau


This tapestry is one of a series of three large-scale tapestry portraits, related in style and subject matter, that are among the most valuable items in the collection of the Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau (Historical Association Neuburg on the Danube). The designs and cartoons are attributed to the Neuburg court painter Peter Gertner (c. 1495 – after 1541); the costly tapestries were woven in Brussels.

The impressive wall hanging is a life-size full-length portrait of the magnificently dressed Neuburg Count Palatine Ottheinrich (1502 – 1559), who stands in front of an idealised background of rivers and castle and city views. In the foreground is a paradise-like garden in which man and beast are in harmony with one another. A wide border of garlands of fruit and leaves interspersed with the coats of arms of Ottheinrich's forefathers frames the scene. This points to the subject's noble lineage, and the idyllic panorama symbolises how the territory he rules is flourishing. An inscription beside the coat of arms of the House of Palatine-Bavaria at the top bears Ottheinrich's motto "mit der Zeyt" ("in time"), which is to be understood as a reference to his "wartend erb" – his prospective accession to the position of Elector Palatine. Tapestries were among the most precious objects that could be produced at the time, and Ottheinrich used them as an expression of status and prestige and as valuable additions to his collection.


Eva Gerum M.A., Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau

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