Tapestry: Saint Paul Requesting Plautilla's Veil (possibly from a series of hangings illustrating the Life of Saint Paul)

Late 15th or early 16th century

Object Place: France or the Franco-Flemish Territories


121 x 173 cm (47 5/8 x 68 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tapestry weave (wool warp; wool wefts)

Not On View


Textiles and Fashion Arts



The subject is taken from the account of the life of Saint Paul in The Golden Legend. According to this story, Saint Paul met the Christian woman Plautilla at the Ostai gate as he was being conducted to Nero’s executioners. The woman wept and asked him to pray for her, in reply to which Saint Paul said, “Plautilla, my dear daughter, lend me the veil with which thy head is covered. I shall cover my eyes therewith, and then shou shalt take it back.”


1928, Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., Paris [see note 1]. Georges Haardt, New York. 1937, acquired on the New York art market by William de Krafft (b. 1878 - d. 1963), Heronden Hall, Tenterden, Kent, England and New York; January 28-29, 1949, anonymous (Krafft) sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 410, bought in by William de Krafft and given to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 10, 1949)

[1] They lent it to the "Exhibition Gothique de la Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins" (June, 1928), cat. no. 49.

Credit Line

Gift of William de Krafft