Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Courtiers in a Rose Garden: A Lady and Two Gentlemen

ca. 1440–50
South Netherlandish
Wool warp; wool, silk, metallic weft yarns
Overall: 9 ft. 5 3/4 in. x 10 ft. 8 in. (288.9 x 325.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
This work belongs to a series of tapestries designed to cover the walls of an entire room. Such sets were often referred to in medieval inventories as "rooms" ("chambres"). It is possible that this set was made for the French king Charles VII, whose colors were white, red, and green and one of whose emblems was the rose tree. A royal connection is certainly likely, for the tapestries are sumptuous, with metal threads not only in the clothing and jewelry worn by the fashionable courtiers and ladies, but also in the background leaves, buds, and open roses. Working from full-scale painted designs, the weavers produced tapestries like this by forcing the cross threads (weft) tightly into place—each different-colored thread separately—until all the undyed lengthwise threads (warp) were concealed. Even with several weavers working side by side—the usual procedure—and with the tapestries of a single set being worked simultaneously on separate looms, their production would have taken several years. Hung on the walls of a castle or manor house, tapestries not only served the practical function of insulation, preventing dampness from entering the room, but also constituted a visible and portable declaration of their owner's wealth and taste.
Sigismond Bardac, Paris (in 1904); [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (sold 1909)]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17, 1940–March 24, 1940.

Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 115, pp. 39-40.

"Medieval Tapestries and Sculpture on Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Compleat Collector 5, no. 3 (January 1945). p. 17.

2000 Years of Tapestry Weaving: A Loan Exhibition. Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1952. no. 70, p. 34, pl. VI.

Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 137.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. fig. 49.

Young, Bonnie. "The Lady Honor and Her Children." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 21, no. 10 (June 1963). p. 345, fig. 4.

Laver, James. "Fashion, Art and Beauty." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 26 no. 3 (November 1967). p. 122.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the Presence of Kings: Royal Treasures from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1967. no. 12.

Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 97, pp. 208-209, 260.

Souchal, Geneviève, ed. Masterpieces of Tapestry from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974. no. 30, pp. 85–88.

Erlande-Brandenburg, Alain. Gothic Art. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1989. pp. 472, 499, fig. 573.

Cavallo, Adolfo S. Medieval Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 8, pp. 174-189.

Kajitani, Nobuko. "Conservation of Courtiers in a Rose Garden : A Fifteenth-Century Tapestry Series." Conservation Research: Studies in Fifteenth- to Nineteenth- Century Tapestry, Studies in the History of Art: Monograph Series II, 42 (1993). pp. 79-103.

Randall Jr., Richard H. The Golden Age of Ivory: Gothic Carvings in North American Collections. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1993. p. 130.

Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Textiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 53, no. 3 (Winter 1995-1996).

Antoine, Elisabeth. Sur la Terre Comme au ciel: Jardins d'Occident á la fin du Moyen Âge. Paris: Musée National du Moyen Âge - Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny, 2002. no. 30, pp. 106-107.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. "Aristote et les Roses: sur un Manche de Couteau du Musée du Louvre." In In Italiam nos fata trahunt, sequamur ... : sborník příspěvku k 75 narozeninám Olgu Pujmanové, edited by Petr Pribyl. Prague: Společnost Přátel Society of Friends, 2003. p. 43.

Campbell, Thomas P. Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty: Tapestries at the Tudor Court. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007. pp. 33-34, fig. 2.14.

Stucky-Schürer, Monica. Eine immerwährende Krönung: Charles VII (1403-1461) und die Throntapisserie im Louvre. Basel: Schwabe & Co., 2014. pp. 52-53, fig. 26.

Related Objects

Tapestry with the Annunciation

Date: ca. 1410–20 Medium: Wool warp, wool with a few metallic wefts Accession: 45.76 On view in:Not on view

Hunting of Birds with a Hawk and a Bow (from the Hunting Parks Tapestries)

Date: ca. 1515–35 Medium: Wool and silk thread Accession: 41.190.228 On view in:Gallery 305

Hunting with a Hawk (from the Hunting Parks Tapestries)

Date: ca. 1515–35 Medium: Wool and silk thread Accession: 41.190.107 On view in:Gallery 305

The Lamentation

Date: ca. 1490–1505 Medium: Wool warp, wool, silk, and gilt wefts Accession: 41.100.215 On view in:Gallery 305

Mourning Woman

Date: ca. 1480 Medium: Walnut, polychromy and gilding Accession: 41.100.128 On view in:Gallery 305