Hunters in a Landscape, ca. 1575–95
England (probably London)
Wool and silk; 5 ft. 10 7/8 in. x 15 ft. 1 7/8 in. (1.8 x 4.6 m)
Purchase, Walter and Leonora Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, Rosetta Larsen Trust Gift, and Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2009 (2009.280)
This extremely rare hanging combines an exquisitely well-preserved palette with the distinctive long and narrow format of a wainscot tapestry. In a style sixteenth-century Flemish weavers called "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 wavers who sought refuge from the religious tumult of the era by relocating to England, probably London. The tapestry is notable for its remarkable use of color in the construction of forms and the effects of light and cast shadow. The idyllic landscape contrasts vignettes of pastoral relaxation with a hunting scene flanking a central moated building. In the magpie spirit that circumstances demanded of them, rather than working from a brand-new design, the weavers artfully assembled the elements of the tapestry cartoon 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.