Biombo with the Siege of Belgrade – Belgrade Walking Tours

Biombo with the Siege of Belgrade

How could Japan, Mexico, Spain, Belgrade and Turkey be connected through an art piece in 1700ies?

I was amazed to come across something like this.

The piece is a folding screen (biombo) with the Siege of Belgrade. It was made for a new palace of Spanish Habsburg Viceroy in Mexico, completed in 1701. The Japanese form of the decorated folding screen met a local technique of painting and encrusting with shell-inlay pieces. Japanese influence arrived along the trading routes, across Philipines, also a Spanish colony.

On its front side the biombo shows a siege and battle scene from the Great Turkish War (1683–1699), after a Dutch print. This is a representation of imperial Habsburg power intended for official visitors of the viceroy, a Habsburg governor of New Spain. The victory portrayed was the 1688 battle for Belgrade.

The back side shows a decorative hunting scene, intended for a more private space of the palace, maybe for ladies, who would sit drink hot chocolate and smoke tobacco.

Detail Biombo
Detail Biombo