Hunters in a Landscape

Designer Anonymous, 16th century
With elements after a design on a woodcut by Jost Amman Swiss
Woven by Anonymous Flemish weavers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 509

Late sixteenth-century London experienced a massive influx of talent as Protestant artisans fled religious persecution in the Spanish Netherlands. This tapestry was probably made by Flemish weavers in Southwark, then situated just south of London and not subject to the city’s strict guild regulations. Low and wide, it was made for the open market, targeted to appeal to the English taste for tapestries hung between a room’s wooden wainscot paneling and its ceiling. The Flemish called such wainscot hangings “English style.”
For refugee weavers restarting their businesses from scratch, a tapestry like this—woven with the image on its side—had the advantage of requiring only a single small loom at which one weaver could work quite comfortably. This setup was a far cry from the collaborative, commercial workshops of Flanders. In the same make-do spirit, the tapestry’s cartoon reuses existing design sources, collaged into a new landscape setting.

Hunters in a Landscape, Anonymous, 16th century, Wool, silk (14 warps per inch; 5-6 per cm), British, probably London

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