Wall hanging

dated 1598, Basle(?)
Embroidery, wool and metal thread on linen, height 75 cm, width 230 cm
Inv. 1910.225.

3825px x 4272px
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This tapestry, formerly owned by an old Basle family, documents the life of an otherwise unknown Basle woman named Charitas, who stands in the middle of her brood of 13 children. Seven of them are the children of her first husband, who, before he died, had entrusted mother and offspring to God. Six further children, five girls and an infant, are from her second husband, shown on the right, who expresses the hope that God may grant him good fortune in this life as well as the joys of the next. She confirms that through God's grace she gave birth to 13 children in two marriages. All stand in a row in front of a pattern of loose interlaced foliage, the children on the left absorbed in play, the girls on the right demurely stiff. The older children are dressed as small adults according to the contemporary fashion of wealthy bourgeois. Details show their toys (a hobby horse and windmill), as well as fashionable accessories such as the belt with purse and cutlery, the decorative aprons, headgear and the rare depiction of an umbrella.

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