210
210
JUMP TO LOT
210
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

|
London

Flanders, possibly Enghien
LARGE LEAF TAPESTRY FRAGMENT
the vertical fragment from right hand edge of larger tapestry, woven with large exuberant curling acanthus leaves, within a three sided border, lacking border on left, reduced in size,
wool, woven
approximately 331 by 149cm., 10ft 10in by 4ft 10in
late 16th century
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

This evocative fragment with its distinctive leaves incorporating small insects is representative of the 16th century large-leaf verdure tapestries which were extremely popular and to this day have universal appeal due to their exuberance and striking designs, with notable examples being in museum and private collections. They are recognisable due to their distinctive main field containing large stylised curling leaves with exotic birds and insects and plants with fine foliage and flowers dominating the foreground plane (sometimes with balustrades). There are variations in the depiction of the designs, border types and size, and various workshops were involved in their production in the Southern Netherlands during the third quarter of the 16th century, which results in exact location provenance not always being possible. This style evolved between 1540 and the 1560s. Some tapestries of this group retain their city marks, either Oudenaarde, Geraardsbergen (Grammont) or Enghien, which were geographical neighbours. Similar designs were woven by these centres and each had a distinctive individual marks, which in Enghien were woven in from 1535 onwards, and implemented in Oudenaarde from 1545, all as a result of the Imperial edict in 1544, by which production centres were obliged to use a town mark. The Oudenaarde mark consisted of a shield with red horizontal bars against yellow, and a separate pair of pince-nez, and the Enghien mark was a small shield of eight segments, sometimes with letters E and N, and was placed, unusually, in the top right corner of the selvedge. These are often missing as a result of altered borders and selvedges over time.

There is a complete large-leaf tapestry, described as Oudenaarde or Grammont 1540-1550, in the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna, with broad luxurious borders and a large leaf central panel with perching birds, illustrated in Candace Adelson, European Tapestry in the Minneapolis Institute of Art, New York, 1994, No.10. pp.116-121, as fig.52, along with a fragment of a central section without borders, in their permanent collection. See also Guy Delmarcel, Flemish Tapestry, London, 1999, pg.191, for a complete tapestry (271 by 462cm), circa 1550-1575 with an Oudenaarde workshop mark, from The Art Institute in Chicago (Gift of Robert Allerton, 1926.762). The Metropolitan Museum has two large-leaf verdure fragments, with a design with more serrated leaf edges, circa 1550-1600, from Grammont (one with the town mark), and both have sections of the overlapping border, see Edith A. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1985, Vol. I., No. 24., pp. 177-179, figs.24a-24b.

For another comparable example see Sotheby’s Monaco, 25th June 1984, lot 3239, which incorporates vases in the corners of the borders, and has an unidentified weaver’s cypher. Another comparable with border of similar scale and spacing was sold Sotheby’s, Florence, 23 May 1988, lot 544. See I. De Meuter, Tapisseries d’Audenarde du XVI au XVIII Siècle, 1999, for comprehensive discussion of the Oudenaarde tapestry production.

Howard Hodgkin, Portrait of the Artist

|
London