part of a larger group of millfleurs armorial tapestries woven in Bruges; warp undyed wool, 4-4½ ends per cm., weft dyed wool, 18-28 ends per em.

Allegorical "Millefleurs" Tapestry with Animals, c. 1530-1545

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

Millefleurs (thousand-flower) tapestries became popular in the late Middle Ages. Some contained flowers only; others, like this one, included animals and birds. Pictured here are common animals such as deer and rabbits as well as exotic creatures like the lion, leopard, and unicorn. They are symbolic as well as decorative. The unicorn, for example, represents either Christ or the Virgin Mary. The three clumps of rosebushes forming a triangle, allude to the Trinity (God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), while the barking hound (lower left) and wild falcon (top right) stand for the Devil or other evil forces. Tapestries were costly items, requiring much time and skill to produce. Often several weavers worked together on a single tapestry, each completing about one square yard a month. Some weavers specialized in features such as architectural elements or foliage. The master weaver, who supervised the project, wove the most difficult areas.

Details
Title
Allegorical "Millefleurs" Tapestry with Animals
Role
Artist
Accession Number
34.4
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

part of a larger group of millfleurs armorial tapestries woven in Bruges; warp undyed wool, 4-4½ ends per cm., weft dyed wool, 18-28 ends per em.