Early French Tapestry Panel

Early French Tapestry Panel


239 x 181 cm


This early French tapestry panel dates to around 1600.

Four large human figures in the foreground are interacting with each other, trying to help the man on the right who has clearly stumbled and fallen to his knees, possibly caught in the net visible at the bottom of the panel. In fallingĀ  his hat has come off. The man in the blue garment, figure number two, is trying to support the fallen man to get back up on his feet. Two women in long yellow dresses complete the chain of ready helpers.

Three further human figures in the top half of the tapestry are engaged in their own pursuit: they are attempting to chase away animals, most likely foxes (marked out by the bushy tails, or brushes), or possibly wolves; the man on the right, presumably a farmer, uses a stick as a weapon. The foxes are trying to steal the sheep, with one fox successfully running off with a sheep on its back. The farmers are supported by a number of dogs, identifiable by their collars. A small group of village houses is in the middle ground, a further two groups are in the distance in the background.

The scene depicted in this tapestry panel is action packed, with great movement in the human as well as the animal figures. Interestingly, the direction of movement in the group at the front is towards the bottom right, while the group at the back has a trajectory to the top left, adding to the dynamic feel of the image.

Several trees, one of them quite exotic looking, form the top end of the panel. A beautiful array of field flowers in the foreground and on the sides decorates the meadow on which the action happens.

The tapestry is worked in a tapestry weave in wool and silk and is in good condition, with a few repairs in keeping with age. It is backed on a good-weight linen. Velcro has been sewn on at the top for hanging.