This section is from the book "Tapestries; Their Origin, History And Renaissance", by George Leland Hunter. Also available from Amazon: Tapestries; Their Origin, History, And Renaissance.
Plate no. 353. Italian Renaissance Grotesque tapestry in the Florence Tapestry Museum, designed by Bachiacca and woven by Nicolas Karcher (See chapter VII (Other Looms. American, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian) under Italian Looms). This tapestry does not compare favorably with contemporary tapestries woven in Brussels.
Henri And Catherine
Plate no. 355. Fete of the French Sovereigns Henri II and Catherine de' Me'dicis, one of a set of Late Renaissance tapestries in the Florence Tapestry Museum. In design and weave it closely resembles another tapestry in the same museum that is signed Franciscus . Spiringius . Fecit . Anno . 1602.
This is the François Spierinx of Delft who wove for the English Crown from the designs of Cornelius Van Vroom of Haarlem, the set of ten picturing the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, which hung in the House of Lords until destroyed by fire in 1834, and the designs of which have been preserved by the engravings of John Pine made about 1789.
Tapisseries de la Cathedral d'Angers, published in Leipzig in 1892, contains 72 excellent photographs of the whole of the Apocalypse set. There are copies of this book in the Avery Library and in the Library of the Metropolitan Museum.
Cox Lyons. Raymond Cox's l'Art de Décorer les Tissus is a monumental volume containing illustrations, some in colour and some in half-tone, of Coptic tapestries, a half-size illustration in colour of a fragment of the famous St. Gereon tapestry and very large half-tone illustrations of other important tapestries belonging to the Historical Museum of the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons.
Destrée Cinquantenaire. Les Tapisseries des Musées Royaux des Cinquantenaire by Joseph Destrée and P. Van Den Ven, Brussels, 1910, an inexpensive but excellent little book containing 44 pages of half-tones of tapestries in the Brussels Royal Museums, together with descriptions of the tapestries and a brief but valuable introduction.
Reims Peintes. Toiles Peintes de la Ville de Reims, by Louis Paris, Paris, 1880, has two quarto volumes of text, and one large album with line engravings by C. Leberthais that illustrate the Gothic painted cloths [counterfeit arras] now in the Museum of Reims. Of these cloths there are 12 picturing the Passion of Christ, 7 the Vengeance of Our Lord, that had its climax in the capture and ruin of Jerusalem by Titus and the selling of the Jews into slavery, 4 the Story of Suzanne, 1 from the Story of Judith, 1 from the Story of
Plate no. 357. Latona, and the Peasants transformed into Frogs, a Louis XIV Gobelin tapestry, one of six Apollo decorations done at Saint Cloud for the King's brother by P. Mignard, who nominally in 1690 and actually before replaced Lebrun as director of the Gobelins. The tapestry illustrated is signed Jans and cost 260 livres an aune. While commonly known by the title given above, it pictures the Birth of Apollo, whose mother, with the infants Apollo and Diana, occupies the centre of the scene, praying Jupiter to punish peasants for their insults.
Esther, I the Apostles. Curiously interesting in this Passion series is the Piscina Probatica, a small pond near Jerusalem whose waters cured ills of the flesh. The text volumes give an exhaustive resume with copious extracts, of the Old French miracle plays which inspired the painters of these cloths and many of the scenes of which, as actually put upon the stage, were reproduced on canvas. Also illustrated and described by M. Louis, with quotations from the old chronicles, are the Clovis tapestries that belong to the Cathedral of Reims.
R.eims Tapisseries. Charles Loriquet's Tapisseries de la Cathedrale de Reims, Paris, 1882, gives large illustrations of the two huge (over 15 by 27 feet) tapestries remaining at the Cathedral of Reims out of an original set of six picturing the Story of Clovis, the first Christian King of France, and the part the Archbishop of Reims had in his conversion and in the founding of the kingdom. There are also large photographic illustrations of the set of 17 Gothic-Renaissance tapestries picturing the Story of the Virgin. The descriptions of the tapestries and the introductory article on Tapestry at the Cathedral of Reims are of unusual excellence. All of the tapestry captions are printed in full, with French translations of the Latin ones.
Raphael Vatican, Astier Scipio. Les Tapisseries de Raphael au Vatican by Eugene Muntz, Paris, 1897, is a study into the origin and execution of the Acts of the Apostles tapestries designed by
Plate no. 359. Renaissance tapestry 3.90 metres by 6.90, woven of wool and silk enriched with gold and silver, one of a set of seven picturing the Mortal Sins. There are complete sets in the Austrian and Spanish collections, the last signed by the famous Brussels maker, Willem van Pannemaker. Gluttony is the richly gowned young woman on horseback. Behind her, a wagon drawn by harpies with woman busts and bird bodies. On the right, the drunken Silenus toppling from his ass. On the extreme left, a cook bearing a long spit crowded with good things at which the dog looks longingly. In the background, castles and mountains and ships and sea.
Raphael for Pope Leo. It contains large photographic illustrations of the seven cartoons now at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, line illustrations of Volpato's and Ottaviani's engravings of the borders, half-tone illustrations of the borders that survive as part of the Vatican tapestries, together with numerous illustrations of the set of tapestries in the Vatican entitled Scenes from the Life of Christ, and of other tapestries wrongly attributed to Raphael. La Belle Tapisserie du Roy by Colonel d'Astier, Paris, 1907, is an interesting and exhaustive study of Renaissance and later tapestries picturing the Story of Scipio.