18th Century Flemish Verdure Tapestry

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Tapestries were used in the middle ages as much for the protection they gave against cold winds as for the decoration, covering openings and acting as canopies around beds. Kings and nobles would roll them up as they traveled from castle to castle. Production was centered around Paris until the 100 Years War caused the weavers to flee north via Arrar to Flanders (now Belgium and Northern France). The weavers extracted the dyes, mostly from plants, in up to 12 colors, dyed the thread, and only then commenced weaving. Working with English or Picardy wool, Italian silk, and silver and gold thread from Cyprus, a skilled weaver took two months to complete just one square foot! These skills were often passed on from father to son. In the early 1500s, combat and hunting scenes were popular with the aristocracy. Hunting scenes led to “verdure” (old French word for “green”) tapestries of lush landscapes which in turn developed into romanticized pastoral designs which reflected increasing Italian influences. In 1660, during the lavish reign of Louis XIV, Les Gobelins factory was founded in Paris employing over 800 artisans. The chief features of the Verdures were the large flowing all-over patterns of dentate foliage in a low toned shade of green parseme. Verdure tapestry, also called Garden Tapestry, is decorated with a design based primarily on plant forms. By the 16th century, tapestries with formal designs derived from foliage had become immensely popular. In the last half of the 17th century, landscapes were incorporated into their design. Such famous tapestry factories as Aubusson and Lille in France specialized in the production of Verdures. This hand woven verdure tapestry features foliage with sprig overlays. In the background are mountains and a beautiful castle with a walled garden and in the foreground wonderful animals. The tapestry is in good condition commensurate with age. It is mounted on a plain wooden frame.


    Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading.
    50.75 in. H x 108.25 in. W x 2 in. D
    129 cm H x 275 cm W x 5 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Nashville, TN
  • Number of Items
  • Reference Number
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2012

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Located in Nashville, TN

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