Stunning 17th Century Wool and Silk Antique French Tapestry, Country of Origin: France, Circa Date: 17th Century – This gorgeous wool and silk tapestry was created in the 17th century at a time when the French dominated the world of tapestries and fine art. It is well-preserved, and the colors are still vibrant. This 17th-century tapestry gives us a glimpse into a world that has since vanished. As such, it is not only an exquisite piece of artwork, it is like stepping back in time.
For several hundred years, weavers from Belgium dominated the artform. They produced a style that was distinctive and that reflected the demands of a wealthy clientele. The style of the Flemish tapestries featured lush green gardens and woodlands, often with a stately mansion or castle in its midst. In the 17th century, Henry IV decided that France should enter into this lucrative industry. Flemish weavers were enticed to come to France to help with the establishment of the weaving looms.
Early French designs closely resembled those of Flemish tapestries, so much so that they are difficult to distinguish. Eventually, the French weaving looms began to develop their own unique style. They still featured abundant plant materials, but the focus was on the architectural elements. French tapestries from this time tend to fall into a limited range of themes. They often reflected ancient historical figures, mythological stories, Biblical and religious stories, architecture, or scenes from daily life. This one depicts children playing in a courtyard under the watchful eye of their governess.
One of the key characteristics of this style of tapestry is the use of perspective. French weavers borrowed techniques from painters of the time and were able to give the viewer a sense of distance. These tapestries have depth and complexity that come from a skilled eye. Carefully controlled dye processes gave them a vast array of shades to work with. This tapestry contains wool and silk. During the time, silk was a sign of wealth. Tapestries of this type that contained silk went for four times as much as those that contained wool alone.
This is a magnificent piece that has Rococo-style elements and an interesting subject matter. You can almost hear the children’s laugher. The tapestry weavers in France liked to include elements of nature. Today, including elements of nature remains an important feature of interior design for the feeling of calm and wellbeing that it invokes. This beautiful tapestry is the perfect piece for any collection.