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Abstract

In the field of art history, the medium of tapestry has only recently begun to gain attention as its own significant art form. This paper examines the possible relationship between the Burgos Tapestry, recently on view at The Cloisters after a thirty-year conservation, and medieval theatre. The compositional and stylistic forms of the tapestry may have been influenced by productions of medieval mystery plays, which through analysis can help provide a greater understanding of the medieval cultural mindset, the possible artistic decisions behind maintaining medieval pictorial traditions into the early sixteenth century, and the medieval viewer’s experience when looking at a tapestry demonstrating those traditions. Looking at the tapestry in consideration of other aspects of medieval culture helps to re-examine the dismissal of medieval pictorial tradition as simply a precursor to Renaissance naturalism.