TAPESTRY. The Gr. τάπης and Lat. tapesium, from which our word “tapestry” is descended, implied a covering to both furniture and floors, as well as curtains or wall hangings, and neither of them really defines the particular way in which such articles were made. The decorations on these, Greek and Roman coverings were effected by painting, printing, embroidery, or a method of weaving with coloured threads; and specimens and other conclusive evidence show that early Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans employed some at least of the means above-named.
The purpose of this article is to give some account of those decorated stuffs which are produced by weaving coloured threads on to warp threads in a manner that differs from shuttle-weaving, and at Process of tapestry-weaving. the present day is called tapestry-weaving, such for instance as is practised at the famous Gobelins and Beauvais tapestry manufactories in France. At the Gobelins, the warp threads are stretched in frames standing vertically (high warp or haute lisse); at Beauvais in frames placed horizontally with the ground (low warp or basse lisse). In the one case the worker sits up to his work, in the other he bends over it. In each he is supplied with the design according to which he weaves, and notwithstanding the varied positions the method of weaving is the Hign and low warp frames. same. The thread-supply of each separate colour required in the design is wound upon its appointed peg or bobbin, which is a simpler implement or tool than a loom weaver’s shuttle. Fig. 1 shows a Gobelins high-warp tapestry weaver of the 18th century at work. With his left hand he is pulling above his head a few of the looped strings (lines or lisses) through which the warp threads (chaine) pass, so as to bring forward the particular warp threads, in between and around which he has to place the weft threads of the selected colour. In fig. 2 the workman’s left hand pulls forward groups of warp threads upon the lower part of which the weaving has been finished; and with a comb-like implement in his right hand he presses down and compacts the weaving. In the story of the competition between Minerva and Arachne (Metamorphoses, vi. 55–69), Ovid appears to be-describing this very process, and a great number of specimens of 2nd to 5th century Egypto-Roman workmanship corroborate the presumption of its existence in Ovid’s time. The absence of evidence to show that loom and shuttle weaving was capable at that period of producing elaborate figured fabrics is remarkable, and supports the probability that the tapestry-weaving process was that commonly known and practised for most if not all woven decoration and ornament.
It was certainly as freely used for costumes as for hangings, couch and cushion covers and the like (see Carpet). The frames in which the work was done varied according to size from small and easily handled ones to large and substantially constructed frames. As mentioned in the article Embroidery, ornament of tapestry-weaving occurs in a fragment of Egyptian work 1450 B.C., and Greeks in the 3rd or 4th century B.C. also worked in this method, as is demonstrated by specimens, now in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, which were found in the tomb of the Seven Brothers at Temriouck, formerly a Greek settlement in the province of Kouban on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea. The simplicity of the process is so obvious that it is found to be widely employed in expressing a variety of primitive textile decoration of which pieces from Borneo, Central Asia, Tibet, the Red Indians of America, and the ancient inhabitants of Peru (see fig. 10) are to be seen in museums. As regards the antiquity of the two sorts of frames (the low and high warp) the Beni Hassan wall paintings (1600 B.C.) include diagrams of horizontal (low warp) frames, with weavers squatting on the ground at work on them; while a vertical or high warp frame is represented on a Greek vase of the 5th century B.C. found at Chiusi (fig. 3), and corresponds with frames used in Scandinavian countries. In both these last-named the lower ends of the warp threads are merely weighted, thus presenting some difficulty to the act of weaving, and of subsequently compacting the weft upwards, the warp not being taut and fastened to a beam, according to more ordinary usage, as, for instance, in the high warp frame illustrated in the codex of Rabanus Maurus, 9th century A.D., preserved at Monte Cassino (fig. 4). The words “de Geneceo” in this illustration point to a medieval survival of the earlier gunaikonites of the Greeks and the gynaecea of the Romans, which were the quarters set apart in the house of the well-to-do for the spinning, weaving and embroidery done by women for the household. From such ancient frames to similar haute and basse lisse frames of the French tapissiers nostrez and tapissiers sarrasinois governed under edicts (1226–70) of Louis IX., and so on to present-day Gobelins and Beauvais frames, the transition can be easily realized. The texture of all tapestry weavings presents no radical difference in appearance, no matter when or where produced.
Fig. 3.—Penelope’s tapestry-weaving frame, from a Greek vase of the 5th century B.C. The standing figure is that of Telemachus.
Within reasonable limits it is not practicable to sketch in a complete form the history, from the middle ages onwards, of the prosecution of the art by each of the many European towns that have become engaged in tapestry weaving. But the foregoing remarks will suggest, what seems to have been the fact, that a continuity in the knowledge of the art was kept up so that as Roman tapestry-weaving. favourable conditions occurred it would be called into practice. Artificers (male and female) such as the Roman plumarii wove tapestries with figures of Britons (Virgil, Georg., iii. 25)—“Purpurea intexti tollant aulaea Britanni,”—others with scenes from the story of Theseus and Ariadne (Catullus, Argon., xlvi. 267), besides many more for emperors and the wealthy. The demand for such production of the textrinae or trade workshops, and of the more private gynaecea, as well as the organization of workmen’s societies, collegia opificum, are evidence of circumstances lasting for some centuries in Rome that were favourable to tapestry-weaving there. Suggestive of Roman designs are the illustrations of part of a curtain or wall hanging (fig. 5), and of a hanging or couch cover (fig. 6); whilst the daintiest quality of tapestry-weaving for the ornamentation of a tunic is displayed in fig. 7. The ornamentation in fig. 5—a hanging 5 ft. 3 in. by 19¾ in.—consists of a series of horizontal leafy bands or garlands and other devices: between the upper bands on a red ground is a bird on a leafy twig. This is Egypto-Roman work of about the 3rd century A.D. A portion of a linen cloth or couch cover ornamented with tapestry woven in coloured wools and linen thread is shown in fig. 6. At the top there is a fragment of a horizontal border of floral and leaf ornament beneath which, and enclosed by festoons of leaves, are two boys floating in the air and holding ducks; elsewhere are figures of boys running and carrying baskets of fruit, and large and small blossom forms or rosettes. This also is Egypto-Roman work, about the 4th century, and is 4 ft. 5 in. by 4 ft. 1 in. Fig. 7 presents a square (from a small tunic) of very fine warp and weft tapestry-weaving, with a child mounted on a white horse: in the border about him are ducks, fish and (?) peaches. This too is Egypto-Roman work of about the 2nd or 3rd century and is about 4 inches square. The square in fig. 8 is from a tunic or robe and is of tapestry-weaving in bright-coloured wools, with a representation of Hermes holding the caduceus in one hand and a purse in the other. About his head is a nimbus and his name in Greek characters. This again is Egypto-Roman work of about the 1st or 2nd century and is 6½ inches square. The panel of tapestry-weaving in fig. 9 is from a couch or bed covering, and is wrought in purple wools and linen threads. The design recalls the description of the toralia or couch covering alluded to in Petronius Arbiter’s account of Trimalchio’s banquet, “on which were depicted men in ambush with hunting poles and all the apparatus of the chase.” This piece is also of Egypto-Roman work about the 2nd or 3rd century, about 12 in. by 10 in.
Fig. 4.-High warp frame from MS. Codex by Rabanus Maurus (9th century).
The well-known 6th-century Ravenna mosaics of the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora are rich with hangings and costumes decorated presumably with tapestry weavings similar Tapestry-weaving in monasteries, 5th to 9th century. to those just described. From the 5th century and for many centuries later, monasteries, nunneries and the like, under ecclesiastical control or influence, became centres of activity in this and cognate arts, stimulated by the patronage of the Church and courts; and in the 8th and 9th centuries the Emperor Charlemagne’s body of travelling inspectors, missi dominici, appears to have exercised for a time a helpful influence upon such centres throughout France and in parts of Germany. Two centuries later, free, as distinct from bond, handicrafts men were forming local associations for their industries, and in this movement the weavers took the lead throughout England, Flanders and Brabant, France being a little Gilds of weavers. later. The gilds of weavers in London and Oxford were granted charters by Henry I. In the 11th century gilds of wool weavers existed at Cologne and Mainz, and in the following century there was a similar gild at Spires: it is quite probable that some of their weaving would be of tapestry. The fragment in fig. 11 is considered by authorities to be of 12th-century north European work, possibly from some Rhenish place. At one time the whole piece belonged to the church of St. Gereon at Cologne; a large bit of it is now in the museum at Lyons; another at Nuremberg; whilst a small part of the border only is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington. The pattern consists of repeated roundels within each of which is a chimerical bird and bull (? St. Luke), elsewhere is a small eagle (? St. John). The style of design, strong in oriental and Byzantine character, is frequently found in shuttle woven silks of the period.
The renaissance of literature in the 12th century, infused with mystical and religious tendencies, supplied subjects for Tapestries from the 13th century onwards. wall decoration by fresco painting, the practice of which was revived then and came into vogue in Italy and the south, whilst its analogue in the northern and more weather-wearing countries is to be found chiefly in decorative tapestry weavings. Much tapestry is certainly indebted for its cartoons to wall painting, but illustrations in MSS. also furnished subjects from which tapestry was made by the tapissiers nostrez and 'tapissiers de la haute lisse in France, Germany and Flanders. The earlier tapestries usually seem to have been narrow and long, e.g. the “toile à broderie” of Bayeux (see Embroidery) and the 12th-century tapestries of Halberstadt cathedral. Although the making such narrow, long tapestries survived into the 14th and 15th centuries (see fig. 16), larger shapes (see figs. 14 and 15) suitable as curtains and as hangings to cover large wall-spaces became the more frequent. From this time forward the output from many European towns of big pieces, mostly woven with coloured wools, was continuous and considerable. The more sumptuous examples from the 14th to the 17th century were enriched with gleaning silks and metallic threads.
Fig. 17.—Part of a wall hanging of tapestry woven (probably at Brussels early in the 16th century) with coloured wools and silks, which is one of a series designed, probably by some member of the school of Roger van der Weyden, to illustrate the Triumphs written by Petrarch. The episode represented is the Triumph of Chastity over Love. Falling from a triumphal car fitted with flaming altars or torches of love, and drawn by four winged white horses, is Cupid, whose left arm is grasped by Chastity mounted on a unicorn and carrying the column symbolizing Strength or Constancy. Foremost in the multitude about the car of Love are Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. In another part of this hanging is the date 1507. The height of this piece is 14 ft. This, with tapestries of the Triumph of Death and Fame, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum: one hanging of the Triumph of Time is at Hampton Court.
The subjects of the cartoons from which tapestries were woven varied of course with the tastes of the times, the more frequent of Variety of designs in tapestries. the earlier ones being religious (see fig. 12) or illustrative of moralities. Types of romantic, legendary subjects are displayed in figs. 14 and 15 of the Siege of Troy, and fig. 23 of Dido and Aeneas. Historical design occurs in fig. 20, which is one of a set of woven possibly at the royal factory of Fontainebleau about 1540, to commemorate the fêtes on the occasion of the marriage of Henri II. with Catherine de Medicis; and again in fig. 25, of the “Glorious Defence of Londonderry.” Pastoral incidents are shown in fig. 16, and social life episodes and incidents in fig. 22, which was woven at the celebrated Medici factory, Florence, in 1639 by a French weaver—Pierre Fevre—from a design in the style of F. d'Albertino (il Bacchiaca), 16th century, entitled “L'inverno” (winter). Less human in interest are tapestries, mostly of the late 15th century, wrought from leafy designs, usually termed “ventures,” of which several were made at Brussels during the 16th century. Heraldic and floral devices were also frequently used, see fig. 19, from a' piece of the late l5th century in Winchester College, and fig. 18, which is at Haddon Hall and was woven early in the 16th century. It is very similar to hangings which are at Bern and are said to have been captured from Charles the Bold at the battle of Granson. Many curiously designed tapestries of German l5th-century origin are to be seen in the museum at Basel—one of them (fig. 21) displays strange beasts, unicorns, stags in the midst of Gothic foliage, and labels with legends. Other tapestries, worked from still later phases of ornamental design, are fantastic with schemes of abstract ornament into which are introduced as subsidiary details figure subjects set in panels and medallions.
The treatment of the compositions in cartoons for tapestry follows that adopted by painters. Thus examples from the 11th to the end of the 15th century are formal in the drawing of the forms introduced into them, and comparatively limited in range of colours, lights and shades, in accordance with the mannerisms of the earlier painters whether illuminators of MSS. or wall and panel painters. It has been argued from this that the designers of such early tapestry work possessed a sense of the limitations imposed by the process and materials. But in their day the relatively small number of dyes available involved conventionality in colour, quite as much as the earlier styles of drawing involved conventionality in form.
Fig. 13 is from an interesting design by Jehan Foucquet (1415–1485); and is one of a set, made by him to illustrate the Trojan War, now in the Louvre. From these drawings tapestries were woven at Arras probably in the middle of the 15th century. One of these hangings in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see figs. 14 and 15) is from Foucquet's design, representing the arrival of Queen Penthesilea and her warrior women at Troy and the part she took in a fight in which she vanquished Diomedes. This episode was introduced by Quintus Calaber (or Smyrnaeus), a 4th-century writer, in his version of the Homeric story. A tapestry from another of Foucquet's designs displaying King Priam in the midst of his court is in the Palais de Justice at Issoire.
When Raphael, master of a freer and more realistic style in rendering form and colour, produced his cartoons of the Acts of the Introduction of realism in designs for tapestries. Apostles for a set of hangings for Pope Leo X., a new condition naturally came into play, and practically became a principal source of the contrast which is observable between the designs of tapestries made before his time and those made after the early part of the 16th century. The provision of a bigger scale of dyes for the wools and silks was stimulated to secure success in weaving these more realistic representations of forms and greater subtleties in colour, as well as the developed effects of perspective: compare, for instance, the treatment in fig. 14 with that in fig. 22. The restraint or limitations of the earlier styles were thus gradually supplanted by the comparative complexities of the later; and it is a point of interest to note that provision for still further inventing and improving dyes and so helping tapestry to assimilate to painting is specially included in the regulations (1667) of the state manufactory of the Gobelins, where under M. Chevreul (director of the dye-works for more than fifty years during the 19th century) 14,400 tones of colour have been used.
A chronological succession of styles may also be traced in the borders enclosing such varieties of design as those just referred to. As a rule borders consisting of a selvage or plain band come first (see fig. 12), followed by those in which Sizes of borders indications of date. labels with block-letter legends (figs. 14 and 15 and fig. 17) are features; after them are narrow borders filled in with closely and well-arranged floral forms (see lower border in fig. 17), to which succeed borders of greater width containing elaborate detail (fig. 20). Such as these date from soon after the beginning of the 16th century, and those rather wider and more extravagant in ornament follow on somewhat later (see figs. 22 and 23). In the 18th century massive rococo proscenium frames, as in fig. 25, are sometimes adopted.
Of the notable centres where the industry of tapestry-weaving has been in considerable practice, Arras in the 14th and 15th centuries, Notable centres of the industry. Brussels in the 15th and 16th, Middelburg and Delft in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Paris in the 16th and 17th centuries and down to the present time, with Mortlake in the 17th century, probably stand foremost; and from them the services of experienced workmen equipped with frames and implements were requisitioned and secured at most of the short-lived contemporaneous centres in almost all parts of Europe. Several names of tapestry-weavers working during the first half of the 14th century in Arras, Paris, Valenciennes, St. Omer and Reims, for Burgundian, Flemish and French nobles, have been recorded. Throughout that century a few Weavers and many tapestries came from Arras into England, where the term “arras” became the generic name for woven wall-hangings. Arras tapestries also went in quantities into Italy where they were called “Arazzi,” and into Spain where they bore the name “pannos de raz.” The tapicers of London received their statutes in 1331, and Edward III. caused an inquiry to be held into the mistera tapiciarorum. The industry at Arras began to decline soon after 1460, and was succeeded about this date by works at Bruges, Ghent, Tournai, Lille, Oudenarde, but more especially at Brussels, at which last city the industry grew to an importance even greater than it had enjoyed previously at Arras or elsewhere. The regulations of the Brussels corporation of tapissiers were framed in 1451. Under them tapissiers might draw for one another the stuffs of hangings or of costumes in their figure compositions, trees, animals, boats, grasses, &c., in their “verdures,” or leafy compositions, and the flowers, &c., as in the ground of Fig. 18, and might complete or correct their cartoons with charcoal or thalk, but for every other style of work they were bound to apply to professional painters under pain of fine.
In 1528 the Brussels tapissiers and dealers in tapestries were
required to mark their weavings, and Charles V. ordered all tapestry
makers in the Low Countries to do the same. This
practice was followed in other countries into which
Tapestry makers’ marks.
emigrant Flemish or French weavers had carried the
industry, making their tapestries very often from
copies they took with them of cartoons designed by
noted Italian and Flemish painters. Makers’ marks have in so
many cases been cut from tapestries that it becomes practically
impossible to identify the places where they were made, and the
dates of their production can only be conjectured from the styles
of designs, supplied for instance by such artists or their
followers) as the Van Eycks, Roger van der Weyden,
Artists who designed cartoons
for tapestry. Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Bernard van Orley, Lancelot Blondeel and John van der Straaten or Stradanus; this last-named was for many years employed in connexion with the important “Arrazeria Medici” founded in Florence by Cosmo I., duke of Tuscany (1537), which lasted until the beginning of the 18th century; Stradanus’s style of design is similar to that of episodes in the story of Dido and Aeneas shown in fig. 23 from an Oudenarde tapestry of the early 17th century. Reverting to the 16th century, reference must be made to Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII., who possessed enormous quantities of the best Flemish tapestries of their time and earlier, and a fair number of them are still preserved at Hampton Court Palace. The king had in his service not only agents especially in Brussels to buy hangings, but also a considerable staff of “Arrasmakers.” In Ireland, the taste for tapestry was evidenced by a manufactory at Kilkenny of “tapestry, Turkey carpets and diapers,” founded early in the 16th century at the instance of Piers, 8th earl of Ormond and his lady, Margaret FitzGerald, and giving employment to workmen introduced by him from Flanders. At a rather later date tapestry works were established by William Sheldon at Weston and Barcheston in Warwickshire, with a view to which he previously sent Richard Hickes to the Low Countries to learn tapestry-weaving. A few Flemings were probably brought over by him and set to work at Barcheston and Weston, where he was appointed “master weaver.” In his will (1569) Sheldon calls Hickes, somewhat erroneously perhaps, “the only auter and beginner of tapestry and Arras within this realm.” His son, Francis Hickes, was educated at St Mary Hall, Oxford (1579–83). and about 1640 he caused some tapestry maps to be woven. Made before them are a set of hangings of the “Four Seasons, ” now preserved at Hatfield. These are most probably from designs by Francis Hickes. They were bought by the marquis of Salisbury very shortly before the first visit of Queen Victoria to Hatfield. The borders of these pieces with small medallions and Latin mottoes are attractively amusing and interesting. In the lower border (fig. 24) one may read “via. virtuti. encyclopedia”; in the upper border a date, “1611,” occurs in one medallion. In the upper border of each hanging is an important coat of arms with several quartering’s, chief of which are those of Tracey of Toddington in Gloucestershire impaling those of Shirley of Wiston in Sussex. The designer’s inventiveness and fancy in illustrating attributes, &c., of the “Seasons” are almost exuberant, however restricted and quaint his graphic power seems to be.
Philip II. is mentioned as having encouraged a manufacture of tapestry by Flemings in Madrid in 1582. In 1539, Francis I. started a royal factory for tapestry at Fontainebleau (see fig. 20), and employed Primaticcio amongst other artists to furnish the necessary designs. Henry II., whilst continuing work at Fontainebleau, caused a second factory to be set going in Paris at the Hépital de la Trinité. Henry IV. continued this royal patronage in lavish fashion and added yet another factory, that in the Faubourg St. Antoine, which in 1603 was transferred to workrooms in the Louvre. As Paris thus came to the fore, so Brussels gradually declined. Upon the death of Henry IV. in 1610 Paris tapestry-making suffered a check, which may perhaps have contributed somewhat favourably to the start made by James I. to organize the Mortlake works, where several foreign workmen were employed under the direction of Sir Francis Crane. Both James I. and Charles I. supplied considerable sums of money for the Mortlake works, and tapestries were made there, as fine as any contemporaneously at Paris or Brussels, e.g. those from Raphael’s cartoons of “the Acts of the Apostles,” Rubens’s “Story of Achilles,” and portraits by Van Dyck. After the execution of Charles I., Mortlake declined, and new life was infused into the industry at Paris under the influence of Colbert, to whose strong personal interest in the arts is due the organization in 1667 of the Hôtel des Gobelins under the painter Charles le Brun as the Manufacture Royale des Meubles de la Couronne, which for large hangings became the premier tapestry-weaving centre in Europe. Three years previously Colbert had initiated a similar manufactory, chiefly with low-warp frames, at Beauvais, which is noted for sofa and chair seats and backs, screens and small panels.
Efforts to establish the industry in Rome were made during the 17th century, but it is only since the pontificate of Clement XI. in 1702 that a papal factory has been successfully conducted and is still carried on in the Vatican. The manufactory of Santa Barbara in Madrid was founded by Philip V. in 1720, and although it was closed in 1808 it re-opened in 1815 and is still at work.
Tapestry-weaving during the 18th century under private enterprise was pursued with success and still continues at Aubusson, Felletm; it was carried on for a short time only at Fulham, Soho, Exeter, and for rather longer periods at 18th and 19th century tapestry-weaving. Lille, Cambrai, Gisors, Nancy, Naples, Turin, Venice, Seville, Munich, Berlin, Dresden, Heidelberg and St Petersburg, maintaining, however, no very prolonged existence at any of these latter places. In more modern times English tapestries woven after 1878 at the Merton works from designs by William Morris (see fig. 26), as well as by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Mr Walter Crane, have great distinction in vigorous style reminiscent of virile medieval work. In mere technique of weaving with fine warp and weft they are outdone by the comparatively effeminate and delicate painting like fabrics now made at the Gobelins and Aubusson.
Towards the end of the 17th century as well as early in the 18th century some tapestry-weaving was carried on in Ireland. For about twenty years at Chapelizod, near Dublin, tapestry frames were worked by Christopher and John Lovett, the latter of whom had to leave Dublin, bringing with him into England some thirty eight (pieces of tapestry of “Their Majesties’ Manufacture of Ireland.” In the Bank of Ireland, in College Green, Dublin, are two large hangings which were executed by Robert Baillie, " who is said to have held the appointment of upholsterer to the Irish government in 1716. One of them represents the Battle of the Boyne, the other the “ Glorious Defence of Londonderry” (see fig. 25). Lough Foyle and the hill surmounted by the city of Londonderry are represented in the landscape: to the left in the foreground is James II., by whom is the Commander Hamilton with his hat off, and near at hand cavalry: on the right are mortars, cannon and foot soldiers. The border of this tapestry is fantastic in design and rather in the style of an over-elaborated theatre proscenium, upon which hang medallions containing portraits of Captain Baker, the Rev. Dr Walker and the captain of the frigate “ Dartmouth, ” in which the supplies were brought to the besieged which led to the relief of the city and the defeat of the investing army. The designs for these Dublin tapestries are credited to John Vanbeaver, a Flemish weaver, who seems to have been a moderate draughtsman. They are clearly adaptations of designs of historical events, by Le Brun and van der Meulen, from which tapestries were woven at the Gobelins factory to the order of Louis XIV. at the end of the 17th century. These Dublin hangings were woven about 1735, and Baillie was commissioned to make four others representing the landing of the prince of Orange, his army at Carrickfergus, the Battle of Aughrim, and the taking of Cork and Kinsale by Marlborough. These, however, were not completed, and Baillie was paid £200 as compensation.
Tapestry-weaving as a possible cottage or home industry is practised in a few places in Ireland and England. In the Far East, China and Japan, the art, adopted presumably from western Asia, is sometimes resorted to in making silken robes and intricately figured hangings. The Japanese call their tapestry-weaving tsu-zu-re-ori.
Fig. 18.—Brussels, early 16th century, hanging, covered with masses of flowers, on which are shields bearing the royal arms.
Now at Haddon Hall. The property of the duke of Rutland.
Fig. 23.—Oudenarde tapestry, early 17th century. The design, “Dido and Eneas,” rather in the
style of J. van Straeten.
Fig. 24.—One of the four tapestry hangings of the “Seasons,” of Winter with Aeolus in the centre, probably woven under the
direction of Francis Hickes at William Sheldon’s manufactory at Barcheston, in Warwickshire, early in the 17th century, and
now at Hatfield House.
Fig. 25.—Defence of Londonderry. Irish (Dublin) tapestry, early 18th century.
Fig. .—Tapestry woven at Merton Abbey, from a design by William Morris (1834–1896).
The subject is from his poem “The Orchard.” Victoria and Albert Museum.
Fine examples of early and later European tapestries are to be seen in the cathedrals of Reims, Bruges, Tournai, Angers, Beauvais, Places where fine tapestries are now preserved. Aix, Sens, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, St Mary's Hall Coventry, the Louvre and Cluny Museums in Paris, at Chantilly, Chartres, Amiens, Dijon, Orleans, Auxerre, Nancy, Bern, Brussels, Basel, Munich, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Nuremberg. In Italy the largest collections (mostly of 16th and 17th century work) are those of the Vatican at Rome, and the Reale Galleria degli Arazzi at Florence. Many fine pieces are in the royal palace at Turin, the Palazzo del Té at Mantua, the royal palace at Milan, in the cathedral of Como, and the museum at Naples. The collection at the palace of Madrid is one of the largest in Europe, and comprises more than one thousand examples, the older of which, of splendid Flemish design and weaving, belonged to Ferdinand and Isabella, Philippe le Bel and the Emperor Charles V. The principal cathedrals of Spain also possess important tapestries; those preserved at the cathedral of Toledo are more than enough to supply hangings for the outside and inside of that building on the feast of Corpus Christi. Throughout the European continent, in the United States of America, and in Great Britain almost uncountable tapestries are displayed or stored in mansions, castles, châteaux and palazzi, belonging to noble and wealthy families. A large number. of books have been written and published on the subject generally, and many of them, containing good illustrations, are of recent date.
Bibliography.—The following works may be mentioned as likely to prove useful for investigating the history and character of Egypto-Roman and Coptic textiles:—J. Karabacek, Die Theodor Graf'schen Fünde in Aegypten (“Die Textilien-Gräberfünde”), 8vo, Vienna, 1883; Alan S. Cole, Catalogue of a Collection of Tapestry Woven and Embroidered Egyptian Textiles in the South Kensington Museum, London, 1887; “Egyptian Tapestry,” Society of Arts, Cantor Lectures, London, 1889; A. Riegl, Die ägyptischen Textilfünde im K. K. Österreich. Museum, 13 photo-lithographs, 4to, Vienna, 1889; E. Gerspach, Les tapisseries coptes, 153 (some coloured) illustrations, 4to, Paris, 1890; R. Forrer, Mein Besuch in El-Achmim, 1 phototype and 36 process illustrations, 8vo, Strassburg, 1895; Römische und Byzantinische Seiden-Textilien aus dem Gräberfelde von Achmim-Panopolis, 28 pp., 17 (15 coloured) plates, and illustrations in the text, 4to, Strassburg, 1891; Wladimar Bock, Coptic Art; Coptic Figured Textiles (in Russian), 32 pp., 6 phototype plates, 4to, Moscow, 1897; W. Lowrie, Christian Art and Archaeology (pp. 362–82, “Textile Art”), process illustrations, 8vo, New York and London, 1901; A. Gayet, L’Art copte (pp. 317–27, “Les tissus”), process illustrations, 8vo. Paris, 1902.
In respect of medieval and later tapestries the titles of the following works are quoted:—Jubinal, Anciennes tapisseries, Paris, 1838–39; Ronchaud, La tapisserie dans l'antiquité; Le péplos d'Anthéné, Paris, 1884; Müntz, La tapisserie, Paris, 1882; Boileau, Les métiers et corporations de la ville de Paris au xiiie siècle, Paris, 1879; Barbier de Montault, Tapisseries du sacre d'Angers, Paris, 1863; De Farcy on the same subject, 1875; Barraud, Tap. de la cath. de Beauvais, Beauvais, 1853; Pinchart, Roger van der Weyden . . . et les tapisseries de Berne, Brussels, 1864; Loriquet, Tap. de la cathédrale de Reims, Reims, 1882; Guiffrey, Pinchart and Müntz, Histoire générale de la tapisserie, 1878; Müntz, Les fabriques de tapisseries de Nancy, 1883; Voisin, Tap. de la cath. de Tournay, Tournai, 1863; Van Drival, Tap. d'Arras, Arras, 1864; Gorse, Tap. du château de Pau, Paris, 1881; De la Fons-Melicoq, Hautlisseurs des xivme au xvime siècles, Paris, 1870; Notice sur les Tap. de Beauvais, Clermont, 1842; Deville, Statuts, etc., relatifs à la corp. des tap. de 1258 à 1275, Paris, 1875; Darcel, Les manufactures nationales de tapisserie des Gobelins de Paris, 1885; van de Graft, De Tapijt-Fabrieken der xiii. en xvii. Eeuw, Middelburg, 1869; De Montault, Tap. de haute lisse à Rome, Arras, 1879; Conti, L'arte degli arazzi in Firenze, Florence, 1875; Campori, L'arazzeria Estense, Modena, 1876; Braghirolli, Arazzi in Mantova, Mantua, 1879; Farabulini, L'arte degli arazzi, Rome, 1884; Gentili, L'art des tapis, Rome, 1878; Müntz, Tap. Italiennes, Paris, 1880; Dorregaray, Museo Español de Antiguëdades (Flemish Tapestry, vol. vii. p. 47), Madrid, 1871-76; Darcel and Guichard, Les tap. décoratives, Paris, 1877; Lacordaire, Notice sur l'origine des tapisseries des Gobelins, &c., Paris, 1855; Guillaumot, Manufacture . . . des Gobelins, Paris, 1800; Rahlenbeck, Les Tapisseries des Rois de Navarre (in Messager des Sciences Historiques, Gand, 1868); Perathon, Tap. d'Aubusson, de. Felletin, et de Bellegarde, Paris, 1857; Roy-Pierrefitte, Les tap. de Felletin, Limoges, 1855; Durieux, Tap. de Cambrai, Cambrai, 1879; About and Bauer, Tap. après les cartons de Raphael, Paris, 1875; Houdoy, Tap. de la fabrication Lilloise, Lille, 1871; Vergnaud-Romagnesi, Tap. au Musée d'Orléans, Orleans, 1859; De St Genois, Tap. d'Oudenarde, Paris, 1864; Guiffrey, Hist. de la tapisserie, Tours, 1886; Pine, Tapestry of the House of Lords, London, 1739; Vallance Aymer, The Art of William Morris (see pp. 83-92); W. G. Thomson, A History of Tapestry from the earliest times until the present day, London, 1906. (A. S. C.)
- See Compte rendu. Com. Arch., 1878–79.
- See Account of Graves at Ancon, Asher & Co.; see also specimens from Graves at Lima in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
- See modern Faroese frame figured by Worsaae. Afbildinger fra det K. Museum for Nordiske Old Sager. Copenhagen, 1854, p. 123.
- See Recherches sur l’usage et l’origine des tapisseries à personages, by A. Jubinal, 1840, p. 13.
- See L. Brentano’s History and Development of Guilds, § IV. “The Craft Guilds.”
- Eugène Müntz quotes a deed (between 1164 and 1200) witnessed by “Meginwart of Welt in burch,” a tapetiarius, as well as another (1177) in which mention is made of Fredericus, tapifex de familia ecclesiae.
- Guiffrey's Nicolas Bataille contains particulars of the loan by Charles V. of France to his brother Louis, duke of Anjou, of an illuminated MS. from which Hennequin or Jean of Bruges, painter in ordinary and valet de chambre to the king, made the cartoons used by Nicolas Bataille (tapissier de Paris) in weaving two hangings representing the Apocalypse (1377).
- “Tapis de haute lice de fin fil d'arras ouvré à or de Chipre” (A.D. 1395). One of the largest and most delicately wrought tapestry hangings in which gold and silver threads are freely used is that of the Adoration of the Eternal Father: on the left of this is the story of the Emperor Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl; on the right the story of Esther and Ahasuerus. It was bought by Mr Pierpont Morgan.
- Only one or two of the tapestries representing the several engagements between the English and Spanish fleets in 1588 which used to hang in the House of Lords (see Pine, Tapestry of the House of Lords, London, 1739) were saved from the fire (1835), and are now at Hampton Court. They closely correspond with a set commemorating engagements between the Dutch and Spanish fleets (1572 and 1576) which are in the great Assembly Hall of the Provincial States of Zeeland. These latter were woven chiefly at the tapestry works at Middelburg, 1595-1629; the former were woven at Francis Spiring's works (or Spierincx) at Delft. Both, it appears, were designed by H. Cornelius Vroom of Harlem. For interesting details of the Middelburg works see van der Graft's De Taptjt-Fabrieken (Middelburg, 1869), and supplementary documents by De Waard (Oud-Holland, xv., 65, 1897).
- See lists in W. G. Thomson's History of Tapestry.
- Rot. Pat. 38 Ed. III., Hardy's Record Rymer, vol. 3, part 2, p. 736.
- Bulletin des commissions royales d’art et d’archéologie. Wauters, Les tapissiers de haute et basse lisse à Bruxelles.
- See list of tapestry marks, pp. 472–81 in Thomson’s History of Tapestry.
- See Law’s Hampton Court Palace, 1885.
- See Transactions of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, 1852, “Ancient Tapestry at Kilkenny Castle,” by the Rev. James Graves.
- See “Tapestry Maps in the Museum at York” (paper read before Royal Geographical Society by Rev. W. K. R. Bedford, printed 10th Dec. 1896, and included in vol. i. of the society’s Transactions for 1897), also in Bodleian Library.
- A half-length portrait by Van Dyck of Sir Francis Crane worked in tapestry, and one or two small fine-warp tapestry panels of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, hang at Lord Petre’s, Thorndon Hall, Brentwood. Ancestors of the late Lady Petre were related to the Crane family, as well as to the Markham family with which Edward Sheldon by his marriage early in the 17th century became connected. The Sheldon and Markham arms occur in the border of one of the map tapestries in the Bodleian Library.
- The original cartoons, the property of the Crown, are exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
- A very fine set of Merton tapestries made from Burne-Jones’s designs are in the Municipal Museum at Birmingham.
- References to his employment in making tapestries occur in the Journal of the Irish House of Lords.
- See Gilbert’s History of Dublin, vol. iii. p. 79.
- See Report of Senor I. F. Riaño to the Director of the South Kensington Museum, 1875.