Tapestry Production in the Early Renaissance

Susan Groag Bell

in The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520234109
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928787 | DOI:
Tapestry Production in the Early Renaissance

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When Henry VIII rode into the City of Tournai in September 1513, the town was bedecked with tapestries, as was traditional at times of celebration. In this case, the spectacle of colorful tapestries hanging from balconies and windows in the main squares and along the major routes through the city was particularly splendid, as Tournai, with its seven-gated wall and ninety-nine towers, was famous for its tapestries. As part of the celebrations the city magistrates of Tournai honored their regent by presenting to her a magnificent set of tapestries entitled “La cité des dames.” Tapestry historians such as Fabienne Joubert justifiably lament that the work of tapestry artisans remains obscure. Based on the literature on the history of tapestry, this chapter shows that once master weavers had created an original set of tapestries, they could reproduce the work for other customers.

Keywords: Henry VIII; Tournai; tapestries; magistrates; La cité des dames; Fabienne Joubert; weavers

Chapter.  8312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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