Verdure tapestries

A history of tapestry art with descriptions of verdure tapestries available today.

Tapestries were produced in Europe from around the twelfth century when, it is believed, the art of weaving was introduced from the East. Some small scale tapestries may have been produced during early medieval times. However, it was towards the end of this period, and throughout the Renaissance, when tapestry art production prospered. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, France and the Low Countries would create some of the finest tapestry art ever produced. After The Hundred Year War from 1337 to 1453, many weavers left France and moved northwards. Many tapestries were destroyed during this protracted war but afterwards a new period of learning and artistic development would begin.

The Renaissance marked an important revival of the arts, and major design changes came about for tapestries. By the second half of the fifteenth century many workshops, especially in Northern France and the Southern Netherlands, were exporting tapestry wall-hangings throughout Europe. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Brussels tapestry workshops began to dominate production. Once again, war would disrupt production, as weavers were forced to relocate. Later, toward the end of the sixteenth century, Paris, became the recognized European centre for tapestry weaving.

Verdure Tapestries

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’ derives from the French word ‘vert’, meaning green. Initially, verdure tapestries were characterized by their green tones, complex foliage and flower motifs – such as the Aristoloches wall tapestry (left). Forests and woodlands were typical scenes. As their popularity rose more expansive, and expensive, designs incorporating wildlife were woven. It is these more elaborate designs that we most often associate with the verdure style today. For centuries verdure tapestries remained highly popular and were made on a large scale for export. That was, until the arrival of wallpaper, which served as a more economical way to decorate a room.

In recent years verdure tapestries have seen a revival. These can change a room by creating a striking and impressive focal point, something which cannot be matched by wallpaper alone. The subtle earthy tones of this form of wall art can deliver that, whilst also being compatible with almost any style of décor (see above). Today, these tapestries are produced by respected weavers in France, Belgium and Italy, in a range of sizes so we can enjoy their aesthetic beauty virtually anywhere..

There is a good selection of themes to choose from: forests and lakes, flora and fauna, plus wonderful images of French châteaux, hunting tapestries, classic gardens and scenic landscapes. Quite a number are available in matching pairs. The lush greenery depicted in verdure tapestries, along with the idyllic scenery cannot help but create a beautifully harmonious room; peaceful, yet unobtrusive imagery which will complement and add to the ambience of your home. Further, a wall tapestry is an investment that will be there for generations to come.



Contemporary Fine Art tapestries

Contemporary fine art tapestries – wall tapestry designs benefit from modern yarns and dyes: in landscapes, town scenes, botanical watercolours and more…

Since ancient times tapestries have been used to adorn homes and important buildings. Historians believe tapestries even covered the walls of the Parthenon in Greece. They have been a favored by kings and queens, noblemen and women and by the Church throughout the ages gracing the walls of cathedrals, castles and the fine homes of the aristocracy. Once status symbols reserved for the rich and noble, today we can hang these wonderful decorative accessories in our own homes. Modern techniques have made art tapestries affordable.

In times past, tapestries provided insulation and would be transported from one residence to another. Being practical as well as beautiful has ensured these wonderful artistic creations have stood the test of time. Textile art has moved beyond functionality over the centuries and today art tapestries provide a beautiful focal point to a room.

For many of us, the historical aspect of fine art tapestries adds to their appeal. Lovers of art history will opt for tapestry reproductions of famous Old Masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, or Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers. Medieval tapestries also capture the imagination, created at a time when kings, knights, great battles and mythology ruled the hearts of the people throughout the western world. The marvellous detailing of these tapestries and their narratives draws us to this timeless art.

For others, a more modern touch is desired for their wall decor. Contemporary Contemporary Fine Art tapestries - landscape tapestryfine art tapestries offer homeowners a pleasing combination of the past and present. There is a good selection available including contemporary floral tapestries and modern landscapes woven in Belgium. New computer techniques recreate artists’ original work faster and more accurately. This makes the production of wall tapestries appealing to today’s artists who can license their work to be reproduced in this manner, examples being Bob Pejman and Simon Bull.

Miles of yarn are used to create just one single such tapestry. It is remarkable to imagine, all those years ago, that this would have been carried out by hand. Further, contemporary fine art tapestries use a broad range of colours with artists no longer being restricted by the limited palettes of times past. This is in stark contrast to medieval tapestries whose colours were dictated by dyes obtained only from vegetation and insects.

Despite the fact that today we can afford such luxuries thanks to today’s techniques, tapestries do continue to be regarded as works of art regardless of whether they be the reproduction of ancient masterpieces or of modern works. Undoubtedly, the bold colours and sharp design of today’s tapestries successfully deliver this ancient art form into the modern home.

They add a unique ambience to a room, creating a mood which is not so easily achieved with paint and canvas. Some of this is due to the tactile quality of tapestries which cannot be found within other art forms.

The most popular contemporary fine art tapestries themes today are:
Landscapes such as Mediterranean views and the Tuscan countryside,
– Town scenes such as Venice and Lake Como towns,
Botanical watercolours.

All art is a matter of personal preference but there has never been such a varied selection of these wall tapestry designs available.