Artist unknown / Allegorical 'Millefleurs' Tapestry with Animals / about 1510Artist unknown
Allegorical 'Millefleurs' Tapestry with Animals
about 1510

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: European; Dutch
Creator Role: weavers
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: Allegorical 'Millefleurs' Tapestry with Animals
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1500
Creation End Date: 1520
Creation Date: about 1510
Creation Place: Bruges (probably)
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: woven
Materials and Techniques: wool, silk
Dimensions: H.138-7/8 x W.157-3/4 in., irregular
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 34.4
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. C. J. Martin in memory of Charles Jairus Martin

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.

Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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