"Four Flemish Tapestries"

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  • Ongoing: until Sunday, January 31, 2010
  • Sunday: 12:00pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00am
  • Wednesday: 10:00am
  • Thursday: 10:00am
  • Friday: 10:00am
  • Saturday: 10:00am
  • Where: Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • Age limit: All ages

During the late medieval and early modern periods, tapestry was considered one of the most important forms of figurative art in Europe. Many Flemish cities, such as Brussels, Bruges and Oudenaarde, became centers of tapestry production and gave rise to distinct styles that emerged from prestigious workshops. Collectively, this area of major tapestry production was known as Brabant, and was located in modern-day Belgium. Noted artists were commissioned to paint designs for tapestries, which were often purchased for vast sums by the church and the nobility. However, the study of European tapestries has been problematic, as fewer documented sources exist for these objects than for other forms of art, such as painting or sculpture.

These late 16th- and 17th-century tapestries in the collection of the Spencer Museum are exceptional for their quality and for their completeness. While many tapestries from this period have been “trimmed” or separated into fragments, tapestries such as the Leopard Hunt and the tapestry with a battle scene retain their original ornate borders. These borders are often associated with regional styles, and have proven useful to scholars studying the work of Flemish tapestry weavers.

This event was posted Dec. 28, 2009 and last updated Sept. 16, 2014

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