Wall tapestries have been a functional art form since the middle ages. Artisans first stitched and wove on looms decorative scenes of nature, leadership, and religion. They are an extension of ancient wall frescoes interpreted in woven thread. Usually completed on a large scale for royalty within a workshop, they were hung on castle walls adding both beauty and insulation to the cold stone buildings.
We sell replicas of the Lady and Unicorn, Bayeux Tapestry, and other European paintings interpreted as tapestries at the end of the article.
LADY AND THE UNICORN
The Lady and the Unicorn (French: La Dame a la licorne) also called the Tapestry Cycle is one of the most well known tapestry series. These famous tapestries date from around 1500 and are located in the Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. There are 6 tapestries in the set, five depicting the senses of taste, hearing, sight, smell and touch. The last has the motto “A Mon Seul Desir” that translates roughly to “my one desire”. The room that houses the tapestry is very dark with limited lighting to preserve them.
Another famous European tapestry is the Bayeux Tapestry from 1066. The Bayeux Tapestry is a unique historical record (230 feet long), relating the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England, and culminating in a major description of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 between the armies of Harold, King of England, and William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy.
Here is a picture of the actual tapestry with embroidery stitching to create the illustration.
The wall tapestry is a unique illustrative account of a historical event completed in the style of a continuous paper scroll — yet created as embroidery on fabric. In Geraldine, New Zealand, there is a recreation of the original. When looking at this picture, we see how incredibly long the fabric is and the vastness of the undertaking.
The Wall Tapestries in our collection are historic reproductions of medieval originals and European paintings. The woven tapestries are made here in the USA using the tradition of jacquard weaving originated by the best weavers in Europe since the Middle Ages. Their intricate stitching and high quality threads create a superior product.