Devonshire Hunting Tapestries

Netherlands, (c. 1425-30)

  • Devonshire Hunting Tapestries - Boar and Bear Hunt
  • Boar and Bear Hunt

  • [from the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries]
  • (cc. 425-30), woven tapestry with wool warp and weft
  • 33.5 x 15.9 ft. (10.2 x 4.85 m.)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Click on the numbered thumbnails matching the sections of the image map below to view details of these three sections of the tapestry.

detail map

Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, detail #1 Devonshire Hunting Tapestries - Boar and Bear Hunt, detail #2 Devonshire Hunting Tapestries - Boar and Bear Hunt, detail #2

About the Artist

Anonymous, Southern Netherlands, (cac. 25-30). This is one of a set of four tapestries, all with a hunting theme, commissioned from a workshop, probably in Arras or Tournai, and crafted by a group of unknown designers and artisans. The tapestries are woven from wool and colored with natural dyes.

The importance of the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries is that tapestries of this scale and quality of design have actually survived to the present day. While many magnificent hangings or tapestries were supplied to the courts of Europe, most all are known to us now only from records in accounts and inventories.

The interests of the time are reflected in the hunting activities these tapestries depict. The elaborate rituals of the hunt were an integral part of court etiquette, and skill in hunting was regarded as the peacetime equivalent of prowess in chivalric wars.

Depicted here is the “Boar and Bear Hunt.” The other three from the set are: “The Deer Hunt,” “Falconry,” and “The Otter and Swan Hunt.”

Additional information

Woolley, Linda. Medieval Life and Leisure in the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002.

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