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Prints, Drawings, and MiniaturesSculptureApplied ArtPainting

Siege of a Fortress from the tapestry series Roman de la Rose (detail)

Early 16th century

Flanders, Brussels

Wool, silk, gold and silver thread

425 x 407 cm

The medieval poem Roman de la Rose was began by Guillaume de Lorris in the first half of the 13th century and completed by Jean de Meung at the end of the century. The tapestry shows several episodes from the poem, developing the subject in a fragmentary manner with digressions from the original story line. The structure of the composition is typical of medieval wall-hangings, but the figures and several details of the landscape and architectural background are similar to the style of the prominent painter of cartoons for tapestries, Bernaert van Orley (c. 1488-1541), whose name is associated with new features in Flemish Renaissance tapestry weaving.


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