of reproducing the original tapestries enables very authentic replicas
to be created, with a genuine patina or "aged' appearance.
Tapestries produced by this method are particularly effective in
period properties and in situations where an ancient look is required.
The woven fabric of which the tapestry is composed has an irregular
texture which closely simulates the antique tapestry stitch. The
design is then produced by means of each colour being individually
applied through silkscreen by hand. Approximately sixteen colours
are used in this process, commencing with the lightest colours in
the tapestry, gradually working through to the darker colours, thereby
building up many subtle shading effects and colour-tone gradations.
Tapestries created in this way are entirely made by hand, involving
a very lengthy production time, and the results are undoubtedly
the most authentic copies of the original tapestries as we know
Hand woven tapestries are produced on Jacquards looms. These ancient
oak-framed looms are replicas of the looms built in 1757 by Jacques
de Vaucanson (1709 - 1782). The operation is entirely by hand, demanding
great skill on the part of the master weavers.
Tapestries are composed of wool, cotton and silk. The wool provides
an ancient appearance, the cotton is used to give strength, and
the silk is used to create highlights in various parts of the tapestries
such as clothing and the flowers. The composition of these materials
differs depending on the tapestry being woven.
The final product has a unique lustre and beauty, and is the result
of much patience, skill and attention to detail on the part of the
master weavers who continue this tradition.
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
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.
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 wasthe period of the "Mille Fleur" tapestry, with
rural scenes overflowing with freshness and charm, where gentle
ladies, lords and peasant folk 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
With the 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 different artists.
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
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.
of art, painstakingly created by these artists are presented in