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France or Flanders (historic region)
Linen, wool, gold foil wrapped linen thread, and silk tapestry weave
11 x 7 inches
Gift of Kate Fowler Merle-Smith (1975.083)
A complete tapestry, from a set of tapestries woven about 1502. The Triumph of Fame
, from a set of The Triumphs of Petrarch
Flemish (probably Brussels)
Wool and silk tapestry
11 ft. 7 in. x 11 ft.
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1998 (1998.205)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Enlarge
This textile fragment is probably all that is left of a much larger tapestry created, as a wall hanging in the early Renaissance. About the time this tapestry was created a large industry existed in the towns of northern France and the southern Netherlands. Textile workers and textile guilds flourished there, and the tapestries produced by this geographic area were exported all over Europe. Weaving a tapestry required that each thread be placed on the loom by hand. This painstaking process enabled complex designs of people, animals, plants, as well as and religious and historical themes were popular subjects for Renaissance tapestries.
Tapestries served as wall decoration for many castles and churches in the Renaissance; moreover, they also provided warmth, insulating rooms from the cold stone architecture. Tapestries were often made in sets that could literally wrap a room. Since they were not installed permanently, they could be changed for special occasions. On festival days, tapestries were hung from balconies or on outside walls to add to the celebration.