The Return of Sarah by the Egyptians
Printed Linen Panels
The Abraham tapestries in Zardi & Zardi’s portfolio come from the series of the Abraham Series at Blickling Hall were acquired by Sir Henry Hobart in 1624 at a time when Mortlake tapestries were at the height of fame.
Based on the earlier set commissioned by King Henry VIII that hang in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace. The tapestries portray scenes from the Old Testament, with intricate borders designed by Francis Cleyn.
These tapestries depict Putti riding seahorses in the lower corners, while river gods with small wings and fishtails hold jars of water, and trophies of bows and arrows fill the upper corners. In the top border a cartouche with a Latin inscription is framed by dog masks, with stone Putti holding bunches of fruit and large scrolling acanthus leaves at either side.
The Return of Sarah by the Egyptians depicts Abraham and his wife Sarah leaving Egypt. Famine struck Canaan so they travelled to Egypt. Abraham told Sarah to pretend she was his sister, fearing the Egyptians would kill him to take his beautiful wife. When the Pharaoh heard of Sarah’s beauty she was taken to his palace. However, when God afflicted the Pharaoh’s household with a plague, he realised that Sarah was Abraham’s wife and asked that both Abraham and Sarah should be removed from Egypt.
Image: The Return of Sarah by the Egyptians Printed Linen Panels, Classic