Nautical Tapestries Maritime Art
There is a wonderful selection of nautical tapestries available from The Tapestry House, woven in France, Belgium or Italy. Maritime art has always been popular with tapestry collectors. The imagery and intrigue of ancient maritime life, which was a time of great battles, fearless explorers and skilled sailors has influenced many artists throughout history.
Nautical tapestries reflect the inspiration of those times past. They reflect our intrigue with distant shores and reflect a part of history that will always appeal to our imagination. This is what, essentially, makes nautical tapestries so memorable and so collectable. Maritime art sustains the inherent need many of us have to envision the world, not as it is experienced today, but as it was then. Nautical wall tapestries feed our curiosity and enliven our imagination and, of course, make a wonderful decorative addition to our homes.
Francesco Lazzaro Guardi
Francesco Lazzaro Guardi was an Italian painter thought to be among the last professional artists of the famous Venetian School of Painting. Guardi was born in Venice in 1712. His father was a painter, as were his brothers. The family originated from Tretino, where, in 1643, Ferdinand III had given the Guardi’s a ‘Patent of Nobility’. Nevertheless, Francesco would live his life in virtual poverty, as a highly proficient, and working artist. His work was never produced specifically for tapestry. During the early years, while working in his brother’s studios, Francesco Guardi produced highly classical artworks. The subject matter was mostly landscape and figurative, primarily for altar pieces and historical depictions. It would be his later work, in which he would capture the city of Venice, and specifically the harbor, for which he would become best known. It is this work, with its maritime aura which is most often produced as tapestry wallhangings today.
Guardi was commissioned by the government to record Venetian festivities and events. Often he would paint views of the harbour, and it is those works which have become highly favored by tapestry collectors. Guardi’s work is often referred to as ‘Vedute’. Generally, this describes factual paintings of towns or cities. Nevertheless, Guardi’s later work was in the style of ‘Pittura di Tocco’, which means, translated, ‘Touch Painting’. This was not common in his day, for it was comparatively high spirited being looser and less controlled than more traditional, classic artistic styles. ‘Piturra di tocco’ describes the way Guardi applied the paint in a combination of small dots and brisk strokes; a style which particularly suits and translates well into modern tapestry art.
Guardi’s work was admired by the early French Impressionists, his art reflecting both the pointillist and impressionist styles. Therefore, even today, his work and the tapestries produced from them have a relatively modern feel. Mercanti Veneziani is a perfect example of his work, and a wonderful reflection of seventeenth century maritime art. If nautical tapestries interest you, this would be a most apt addition to your collection.