Hunters in a Landscape

Anonymous designer
Partly based on a woodcut by Jost Amman (Swiss, Zurich before 1539–1591 Nuremberg)
Woven by Anonymous Flemish weavers
ca. 1575–95
British, probably London
Wool, silk (14 warps per inch; 5-6 per cm)
H. 70 7/8 x W. 181 7/8 in. (180 x 462 cm); Weight (rolled on tube): 38lb. (17.2367kg)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, Rosetta Larsen Trust Gift, and Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2009
Accession Number:
Not on view
This extremely rare hanging combines an exquisitely well-preserved palette with the distinctive long and narrow format of a wainscot tapestry. In a style referred to by Flemish weavers at the time as "English fashion", it was intended to hang between the cornice and the dado of a wood-paneled room. The tapestry is attributed on stylistic, iconographic and technical grounds to Flemish immigrant weavers who sought refuge from the religious tumult of the era by relocating to England, probably London.

In excellent condition, it is a particularly engaging example of the output of this fascinating and only recently studied diaspora of weavers from Flanders. The tapestry is notable for its weavers' remarkable use of color in the construction of forms and effects of light and cast shadow. The idyllic landscape contrasts vistas of pastoral relaxation with a hunting scene, flanking a central moated building. Representative of the magpie spirit which circumstances demanded of these weavers, rather than working from a brand new design, the elements of the tapestry cartoon have been artfully assembled around a reused design source: the central manor house takes its inspiration from a woodcut representing King Solomon's Palace by the Swiss artist, Jost Amman.
[ Duveen Brothers ] ; [ their sale, American Art Galleries , February 2–6, 1909, no. 856; to de Wolfe ] ; [ Elsie de Wolfe (from 1909; to the Crockers) ] ; William H. Crocker and his wife, Ethel, "New Place" house, Hillsborough, CA ; by descent through the family of William H. Crocker ; [ sale, Sotheby's, New York , January 29, 1999, no. 71; sold to S. Franses ] ; [ S. Franses Ltd., London (from 1999; sold to MMA) ]