The Pastrana Tapestries of Alfonso V

Portuguese Assault on Asilah


Picture Source: The History Blog
Prince João on Horseback
The prince wears a gleaming suit of armour under a floral-patterned brocade. His horse is richly attired in a caparison with a sheen that suggests brown velvet. The jumble of figures around the prince includes trumpeters and soldiers wielding muskets, crossbows, and other weapons.
Storming the City
Portuguese soldiers scale the city walls, climbing through gaps or on ladders. With the end of the bombardment (seen in the previous tapestry), swords are unsheathed for hand-to-hand combat.
King Alfonso V on Horseback
While Alfonso sits motionless in the other tapestries, here he raises his sword, ready to enter the fray. The king is preceded by his standard-bearer, Duarte de Almeida, dressed in full armour and carrying Alfonso’s personal emblem, the golden waterwheel. In another battle five years later, Duarte would lose both hands defending the banner of Portugal.


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