Saint Paul Defending Himself before Agrippa, designed ca. 1529-1530, probably woven before 1546

  • Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Netherlandish, 1502-1550
  • Jan van der Vyst, Netherlandish

Wool and silk

  • Framed: Overall: 165 inches × 23 feet 7 inches (4 m 19.1 cm × 7 m 18.8 cm)

Founders Society Purchase



European Sculpture and Dec Arts

  • Infants
  • Columns (architectural elements)
  • Buildings
  • Thrones
  • Boats
  • Figures (representations)
  • City
  • Sea
  • Border (ornament area)
  • King (person)
  • Tapestry
  • Floral ornament
  • Scenes, genre
  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Brussels
  • Brabant
  • Angels (spirits)
  • Apostles
  • St. paul
  • Dog


by tradition, from an Austrian Collection; 1924, (Bachstitz Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands and New York, New York, USA); 1924-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Published References

Friedländer, M.J. "Pieter Coecke van Alost," Jahrbuch der KÖniglich. Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen, vol. 38. Berlin, 1917, pp. 84-5 (ill.) [article pp. 73-94]. ?Dr. J. Boettiger, Stockholm, published. Walther, J. "Flemish Tapestries," Bulletin of the DIA 6 (October 1924): p. 5 (ill.) von Baldass, L. "Masterpieces of the Art of Flemish Tapestry-Weaving," Bulletin of the Backstitz Gallery, vol. 7/8 (September 1924): 2-6, (ill.). von Baldass, L. "Die Paulustapisserien des Pieter Coecke van Alost," Belvedere 5, no. 20 (1924): 45 (ill.). Held, J. Bulletin of the DIA 4 (1935): 107-109. Marlier, G. La Renaissance Flamande: Pierre Coecke d'Alost. Brussels, 1966, p. 310. Cavallo, A. Tapestries of Europe and Colonial Peru in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, vol 1. Boston, 1967, pp. 98-103 [Related examples] [xerox copy of article in Registrar's Acc. file.] The Virtuoso Craftsman: Northern European Design in the 16th Century. Worcester Art Museum, Massachusettes. 1969, no. 16, pp. 45-48 (ill.). Farmer, D. The Virtuoso Craftsman: Northern European Design in the Sixteenth Century. Connoisseur, vol. 171, no. 687 (May 1969): p. 51, (ill.); p. 53; p. 51, no. 2 (ill.) [reprint] Asselberghs, J.-P. Les Tapisseries Flamandes aux Etats-Unis d'Amerique. Brussels, 1974, p. 24. Bauer, R. Tapisserien der Renaissance nach Entwürfen von Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Exh. cat., Schloss Halbturn. Austria, 1981, pp. 37-54. Woven Splendor: Five Centuries of European Tapestry at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Exh. checklist, DIA. Detroit, July-September 1996, p. 73. Delmarcel, G. "A Flemish Tapestry by Pieter Coecke van Aelst," Bulletin of the DIA 78, no. 1/2 (2004): pp.19-29 (ill.). Campbell, T. Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty: Tapestries at the Tudor Court. New Haven & London, 2007, pp. 238-241; p. 240, (fig. 12.14) (ill.).

Rights Status

Pieter Coecke van Aelst; Jan van der Vyst (probably woven under his direction), Saint Paul Defending Himself before Agrippa, designed ca. 1529-1530, probably woven before 1546, wool and silk. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, 24.29.