is one of those French traditions which, through the centuries, has
made a rich contribution to the beauty of French heritage.
In the Middle Ages (13th and 15th centuries), until the Hundred Years
War, the Ile-de-France was the leading producer of tapestries with
Paris the undoubted capital. Then the war and the systematic plundering
of towns sent the tapestry makers fleeing northwards where they founded
the Ateliers d'Arras (Arras studios). When Arras was pillaged, they
went on towards Flanders which became their new centre.
These tapestry makers, true craftsmen worked in family concerns, wove
mythological scenes and later on, medieval scenes, taking their inspirations
from the translations of Greek and Latin texts.
Towards the end of the 15th century, the Val de Loire became a popular
place for tapestry makers, and it was in this "cradle of French
kings" that the most prestigious works were made, now found
in museums. This was the period of the "Mille Fleur" tapestry,
with rural scenes overflowing with freshness and charm, where gentle
ladies, lords and peasantfolk frolic on a background of "bord
de Loire" flowerets. Perhaps some of the finest examples are
the series of the Lady with the Unicorn tapestries, which hang at
the Cluny Museum in Paris.
The Age of Chivalry.
The end of the
Middle Ages saw appearance of epic scenes. Kings and princes had
tapestries woven of their tournaments, combats, victories and even
their hunting parties. This period remains the most prolific for
Renaissance and the arrival of the Italian artists, tapestry radically
changed style. Associating painting and tapestry, Raphael introduced
the art of compositions, order, clarity, perspective, décor
and the rich borders and arabesques that characterized the highly
coloured style of the Renaissance period.
in France, Francois 1 foundered the first royal tapestry factory
in Fontainebleau, near Paris. Around
1660 Colbert established the royal factory of Les Gobelins, then
Beauvais 4 years later, under the protection of Louis XIV. More
than 800 tapestry makers could be seen at the Gobelins in Paris,
under the direction of Chares Le Brun, whose idea was to group the
artists according to their various talents and tastes.
This is why it was not unusual to find panels signed by several
After the death
of Louis XIV, the official formal subjects disappeared to give
way to more imaginative subjects.
Tapestry weaving became more romantic with beautiful landscapes.
This style reach its peak with Boucher.
Revolution put a stop to the creative genius of the tapestry makers,
but in 1795, Beauvais, Aubusson
and Gobelins reopened, and until the 19th century reproduced the
designs of great artists of the royal factories.
there are more than five centuries between us and the first major
works woven by these tapestry makers, we are proud to be able to
offer all art lovers, genuine collector's items to decorate a room,
whatever the style or the size of the interior.
works of art, painstakingly created by these artists are presented
in our gallery.