A Handbook to the Loan Exhibition of French Tapestries: Mediaeval, Renaissance and Modern, from the Public and Private Collections of France

By Metropolitan Museum Of Art | Go to book overview

WORKS ASCRIBED TO ATELIERS OF THE LOIRE, ABOUT 1500

It has been often stated and generally believed that tapestries with millefleurs (thousand-flower) grounds were woven about 1500 in the valley of the Loire. Certainly many such tapestries were used in castles in this region. In the absence of further evidence, however, it is impossible to state with certainty where millefleurs tapestries were originally made. It has been suggested that possibly many of them were woven by wandering craftsmen, who moved about from place to place wherever they could get commissions.

61. PENTHESILEA, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS. Museum of Tapestries, Angers

Wool and silk. 8 feet 8 inches × 10 feet 3 inches

In this tapestry, which is incomplete, Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, dressed for battle, is presented against a millefleurs ground. The hanging of which it was originally a part probably belonged to a set depicting the Nine Heroines, a very popular subject at the end of the Middle Ages. The lower border, decorated with flowers and rabbits, is from another tapestry.

62. HERCULES. Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris Wool and silk. 7 feet 11 inches × 4 feet 3 inches

Hercules, standing against a millefleurs ground with a spiked club in his right hand, seizes with his left hand the mane of the Nemean lion. A bow, quiver, and arrows are on the ground, and above is the centaur's fleece, on which originally a sleeping cupid lay but now part of another tapestry, composed of birds and flowers, has been placed as a patch.

63-65. PASTORAL LIFE, OR "LA NOBLE PASTORALE." Formerly in the collection of E. Larcade

Tapestries representing pastoral life were in high favor among the nobility in the last years of the Middle Ages. The three examples that make up the present set belonged to Thomas Bohier, Chamberlain of Charles VIII, and his wife, Catherine Briçonnet, who at one time owned the chateau at Chenonçeau. Later they

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A Handbook to the Loan Exhibition of French Tapestries: Mediaeval, Renaissance and Modern, from the Public and Private Collections of France
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Message from France ii
  • Preface iii
  • Introduction v
  • Paris, XIV Century 1
  • Arras, XV Century 6
  • Various French Ateliers XV Century 9
  • Works Ascribed to Ateliers of the Loire, About 1500 15
  • The XVI Century 21
  • The First Half of the XVII Century 25
  • The Gobelins Factory 1650-1700 28
  • The Beauvais and Gobelins Factories, About 1700 34
  • The XVIII Century 37
  • Modern Tapestries 41
  • General Bibliography 48
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