Tapestries were produced in Europe from around the twelfth century when, it is believed, the art of weaving was introduced from the East. However, it was actually towards the end of the medieval period, and throughout the Renaissance, when tapestry art production reached a pinnacle. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, France and the Low Countries would create some of the most beautiful tapestry art ever produced.
Up until ‘The Hundred Year War’ from 1337 to 1453, Paris was considered the centre of production for tapestry weaving in Europe. However, as war raged in Europe, many weavers left France and moved North, primarily to Holland and Belgium. Many tapestries were destroyed but after the war a new period of learning and development would begin. The Renaissance marked an important revival of the Arts, and major design changes came about within tapestry art. By the second half of the fifteenth century many workshops, especially in Northern France and the Southern Netherlands regions were exporting tapestries throughout Europe. By the end of the fifteenth century the Brussels Tapestry workshops began to dominate production. Although some French tapestry weavers did continue working, they could not match the sheer scale by which Brussels and the Netherlands were producing tapestries. Once again, war would disrupt tapestry production as weavers were forced to relocate within Europe.
Later, toward the end of the sixteenth century, Paris once again, along with Munich and Delft, would become the recognized European centres for tapestry production. It is not entirely certain where ‘Verdure Tapestries’ were first produced. However, it is known that by the sixteenth century they had become a recognized tapestry art form. The word ‘Verdure’ is a derivative of the French word ‘Vert’, meaning green. Initially, Verdure Tapestries were characterized by their green tones, complex foliage and flower motifs. Verdure Tapestries became regarded as works of art in their own right, yet were considered relatively inexpensive at the time. As their popularity rose more expensive designs incorporating wildlife were produced. It is the more elaborately designed Verdure Tapestries that we most often associate with this style today. For centuries these remained highly popular and were made on a huge scale for export. That was, until the arrival of wallpaper, which served as more economical way to decorate a room.
In recent years verdure tapestries have seen a revival. They can change a room by creating a striking and impressive focal point; something which cannot be matched by wallpaper alone. If you are looking for a classic example of Tapestry Art, the subtle earthy tones of Verdure Tapestries can deliver that, whilst also being compatible with almost any style of décor. They are available in a range of sizes, which means you can enjoy their aesthetic beauty virtually anywhere and within budget. Today they have been accurately recreated for you to enjoy in your own home - you will find a good selection of themes to choose from: flora and fauna, plus wonderful images of French châteaux, classic gardens, forests and scenic landscapes. The lush greenery depicted in verdure tapestries, along with the idyllic scenery cannot help but create a beautifully harmonious and natural focal point within a room. A tapestry is an investment that will be there for generations to come. Verdure tapestries have always been admired by collectors and art enthusiasts alike and today these tapestries are produced by some of the most respected weavers in the world. Since the invention of the Jacquard loom, and the comparatively recent development of computerized machinery, tapestry art has become an accessible commodity. With such a huge selection of European tapestries available you will never be short of inspiration for your home.