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Tapestries & Rugs

 

A collection of woven tapestries and rugs inspired by the past 600 years of decorative arts. Termed 'mille fleurs', meaning literally a thousand flowers, tapestries woven with a profusion of flowers in the background evolved during the 15th century, such as the allegorical Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. During the 16th century rich fabrics were traded across Europe with examples of fine cut velvet and brocade from Italy and France now held in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Rugs from Persia were also brought back along the Silk Route, one fine example is depicted in Hans Holbein the Younger's 'The Ambassadors'. The 18th and 19th centuries saw lighter tapestries and rugs being produced in France, notably the town of Aubusson which gave its name to a distinctive style of rug. The homes of fashionable Victorians saw an eclectic mix of styles brought together including Gothic Revival, Orientalism and later the spread of the Arts and Crafts movement. William Morris, founder of the movement, was strongly influenced by Medieval tapestries, evidenced in the wall hangings he produced at the Merton Abbey workshops.

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