Altar frontal: Devices of Barberini Family

17th century

Object Place: Italy


235 x 99 cm (92 1/2 x 39 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk; brocade

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Ground of brocade woven with red and white silk and metal yarns of three types. Formal, symmetrical pattern showing sun faces and bees surrounded by conventionalized leaves and blossoms. Panels bordered with gold galloon. Central panel shows a silver and gold monstrance rendered in laid work; end panels show Barberini arms over Cross of Malta surmounted by cardinal’s hat, rendered similarly. Ground worn, metals tarnished; gold laid work still bright. At left and right upper corners, hanging cords of red silk and gold yarns.


About 1953, Renato Bacchi, Milan; by 1953, sold by Bacchi to Adolph Loewi, Los Angeles; 1955, sold by Loewi to the MFA for $950. (Accession Date: March 10, 1955)

Credit Line

Arthur Mason Knapp Fund