Jun 2, 2005

Millefleurs Tapestry with Medici Coat of Arms

Millefleurs Tapestry with Medici Coat of Arms


Tapestry weave: wool and silk

Overall: 274.2 x 639.7 cm (107 15/16 x 251 7/8 in.)

Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.824



Many identifiable flowering plants provide the French name, millefleur, for this pattern, which became fashionable around 1450. Each plant may have symbolized either religion, courtship, or morals. However, many millefleur tapestries, made for about 100 years, were probably not symbolic. Large quantities were woven only with flowers; some also incorporated birds and animals or, in this case, coats of arms. Here, the original coat of arms has been replaced by that of the Medicis, a prominent family in Renaissance Florence.

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