COECKE VAN AELST, Pieter
Woodcut, 51 x 30 cm, laid paper, unsigned (laid down on paper support, sm. pieces missing at upper and lower right corners, sm. piece missing at upper left edge, repaired tear at left).
A Military Camp in Slovenia from the frieze "Les Moeurs et fachons de faire de Turcz" (Customs and Fashions of the Turks). Very rarely seen on the market, and part of a large woodcut frieze of 14 sheets. According to Karel van Mander, the painter "was urged on by some tradesmen, tapestry-makers from Brussels called Van der Moeyen, to travel to Constantinople in Turkey where they were planning to undertake something special by making beautiful, costly tapestries for the Great Turk, and they got Pieter to paint some things for that purpose to show the Turkish Emperor". It is arguably Coecke van Aelst's most impressive work of art because of its impressive attention to detail and ethnographic depiction of the Ottoman Empire, the people, and culture. Although the tapestry cycle was never realised due to the artist's death, the designs were later published posthumously by his widow, Mayken Verhulst, in 1553.
Ref. Hollstein IV:4.
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