Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
Leopold, surnamed the Good, was Duke of Lorraine and Bar from 1690 to his death. He is the ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria. Leopold Joseph Charles Dominique Agapet Hyacinthe was the son of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, his wife Eleonora Maria Josefa of Austria, a half-sister of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. At the time of Leopold's birth and Bar had been occupied by Louis XIV of France, forcing his parents to move into exile to Austria, where they lived under the protection of the Emperor. Therefore, Leopold was born in the palace of Innsbruck and received his first name in honour of the Emperor. Leopold grew up in Innsbruck, while his father would be engaged in defending Vienna against the Turks. In 1690, his father eleven-year-old Leopold inherited the still occupied Duchies, his mother, trying to fulfil her husband's last wishes of returning her children to their patrimony, appealed to the Reichstag in Regensburg to restore her son to Lorraine.
Leopold was sent to Vienna to receive a military education under the supervision of the Emperor. In Vienna, he grew up with the Archdukes Joseph and Charles, both future Emperors. Leopold was created a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece that year. Like his father before him, he entered the Imperial Army and, aged eighteen, took part in the Siege of Timişoara in 1694. Three years he received the command of the Army of the Rhine. On 30 October 1697, the Nine Years' War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick; the treaty restored the Duchies of Lorraine and Bar to the House of Lorraine, as Leopold's mother had hoped. On 17 August 1698, Duke Leopold made a triumphant entry into his capital Nancy, he repopulated his war-stricken duchy, encouraging immigration. At the end of his reign the duchy was prosperous. In his foreign policy, Leopold tried to further good relations with France and to appease his powerful neighbor. On 13 October 1698 at the Palace of Fontainebleau, Leopold married Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, the niece of Louis XIV, who had offered a dowry of 900,000 livres to the penniless Duke.
Elisabeth Charlotte turned out to be a caring mother and gave birth to fifteen children, of whom five survived into adulthood. Three of them died within a week in May 1711 due to a smallpox outbreak at the Château de Lunéville, the country seat of the Dukes of Lorraine. Despite Leopold's diplomatic attempts, his capital, was occupied by foreign troops during the War of the Spanish Succession. Fearing for his family, Leopold relocated the court to the Château de Lunéville, where Leopold rebuilt the castle as the "Versailles of Lorraine", it was here that his first child Leopold was born in 1700. In 1703, the Duke introduced the Code Léopold regulating the government of the Duchy, he tried to install his eldest daughter, Elisabeth Charlotte, as Abbess of Remiremont but failed due to the opposition of Pope Clement XI. Leopold's marital life was troubled in 1706, when he took Anne-Marguerite de Lignéville, Princess of Beauvau-Craon as his mistress, enriched her family. Elisabeth Charlotte however, following her mother's advice, remained silent.
In 1708, Leopold had claimed the Duchy of Montferrat as the closest relative of his cousin, Charles III Gonzaga, erstwhile Duke of Mantua, deposed and died without male issue. However, the Emperor had promised Montferrat to the Dukes of Savoy but wishing to compensate the House of Lorraine, he gave the Duchy of Teschen in Silesia to Leopold. In 1710, Leopold and his wife visited Paris to attend the marriage of Elisabeth Charlotte's niece Marie Louise Elisabeth to the Duke of Berry, were among the guests of the lavish banquet at the Palais du Luxembourg. During the visit, Leopold, as a foreign prince, received the style of Royal Highness. In 1719, Leopold bought the County of Ligny-en-Barrois from Charles Henry of Vaudemont. During his reign a new security system was put in place all around Lorraine, he tried to abolish serfdom but the redemption payments were too high for the peasantry when Leopold halved it. On New Year's Eve 1719 he freed his own serfs without redemption, hoping in vain the nobility would follow his example.
In 1721, Leopold arranged for Leopold Clement, to receive an education at Vienna. He intended to forge relations with Archduchess Maria Theresa, the heiress of Emperor Charles VI. However, Leopold Clement died shortly afterwards at Lunéville and in his stead, the younger son Francis Stephen went to Vienna, where he married Maria Theresa. Francis would become Emperor and his descendants, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, would rule Austria until 1918. In 1725, Leopold tried to marry off his daughter Anne Charlotte to the young King Louis XV, but Louis Henry, Duke of Bourbon prime minister, prevented a union with a descendant of the rival House of Orléans. Elisabeth Charlotte tried to arrange her daughter's marriage to her first cousin, the widowed Louis, Duke of Orléans, but Louis refused. All proposals of marriage being either ignored or declined, Anne Charlotte became Abbess of the monasteries Remiremont and Essen. In March 1729, Leopold caught a fever while walking at the Château at Ménil near Lunéville.
He returned to Lunéville where he died on 27 March, aged 49. Leopold had 15 children: Léopold Elisabeth Charlotte Louise Christine Marie Gabrièle Charlotte Louis Josepha Gabrièle Gabrièle Louise Léopold Clement Charles (25 Apr
Château de Marly
The Château de Marly was a small French royal residence located in what has become Marly-le-Roi, the commune that existed at the edge of the royal park. The town that grew up to service the château is now a bedroom community for Paris. At the Château of Marly, Louis XIV of France escaped from the formal rigors he was constructing at Versailles. Small rooms meant less company, simplified protocol; the château is no the hydraulic "machine" that pumped water for Versailles. Only the foundation of Jules Hardouin-Mansart's small château, the pavillon du Roi remains at the top of the slope in Marly park; the works at Marly were begun in the spring of 1679, on 22 May, before Louis had moved his court permanently to Versailles. The king was looking for a retreat on well-wooded royal lands between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye that were well-watered and provided a grand view. Marly was chosen. Robert Berger has demonstrated that the design of Marly was a full collaboration between Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the premier peintre Charles Le Brun, who were concurrently working on the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles.
Mansart's elevations for the pavilions were to be frescoed to designs adapted from a suite that Le Brun had drawn and the frescoed exteriors of the otherwise somewhat severe buildings created a richly Baroque ensemble of feigned sculptures against draperies and hangings, with vases on feigned sculptural therms against the piers— all in the somewhat eclectic Olympian symbolism that Le Brun and the King favoured everywhere at Versailles. The decor of the pavillon du Roi featured Apollo, the Sun King's iconographic persona, Thetis. Other pavilions were dedicated to other Olympians, but to Hercules, to Victory and Abundance. Construction was completed by 1684, though the overcharged painted programmes were simplified and restrained in the execution; the Sun King attended the opening of the completed hydraulic works in June 1684 and by 1686 development was sufficiently advanced for the King to stay there for the first time, with a picked entourage. The theme of Marly was that it was a simple hunting lodge, just enough to accommodate the Royal Hunt.
In 1688 the Grand Abreuvoir à chevaux was installed on the terrace, a mere "horse trough." Throughout the rest of his life, Louis continued to embellish the wooded park, with wide straight rides, in which ladies or the infirm might follow the hunt, at some distance, in a carriage, with more profligate waterworks than waterless Versailles—watered from Marly in fact—could provide: the Rivière or Grande Cascade dates to 1697–1698. The famous description of Marly in the memoirs of Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon were written in retrospect and, for the initiation of Marly, at second hand. Louis' heirs found the north-facing slope at Marly damp and dreary, visited; the "river" was filled in and grassed in 1728. During the Revolution the marble horses by Guillaume Coustou the Elder, the Chevaux de Marly, were transported to Paris, to flank the opening of the Champs-Élysées in the soon-to-be-renamed Place de la Concorde. In 1799/1800, Marly was sold to an industrialist, M. Sagniel, who installed machinery to spin cotton thread.
When the factory failed in 1806, the château was demolished and its building materials sold the lead off its roof. Napoleon bought back the estate the following year. At the end of the 19th century several connoisseurs purchased leases on the individual garçonnières, cleaned up the overgrowth, recovered some bruised and broken statuary and recreated small gardens among the ruins: Alexandre Dumas and the playwright and collector of 18th-century furnishings Victorien Sardou; the Cour Marly of the Louvre museum was inaugurated in 1993. It contains works of art from Marly, displayed on three levels. Providing a sufficient water supply for the fountains at Versailles had been a problem from the outset; the construction of the Marly hydraulic machine located in Bougival, driven by the current of the Seine moving fourteen vast paddlewheels, was a miracle of modern hydraulic engineering the largest integrated machine of the 17th century. It pumped water to a head of 100 meters into reservoirs at Louveciennes.
The water flowed either to fill the cascade at Marly or drive the fountains at Versailles — the latter, after passing through an elaborate underground network of reservoirs and aqueducts. The machine could only deliver sufficient pressure to satisfy either Marly or Versailles, invariably the King's demands received priority. In the nineteenth century, various other pumps replaced the originals, the last was taken out of service in 1967. Other state properties "La machine de Marly" "Marly-le-Roi and Baroque garden design in France" The Ways of Men: producer Eliot Gregory visits Sardou at Marly " Château de Marly, lot pictures "
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine and Bar succeeded his uncle Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine as titular Duke of Lorraine and Bar in 1675. Born in exile in Vienna, Charles spent his military career in the service of the Habsburg Monarchy, he is the direct male ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria. Charles was born on April 3, 1643 in Vienna, second son of Nicholas, younger brother of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, his wife Claude Françoise of Lorraine. In 1634, his father replaced his uncle as Duke; the French withdrew in 1661, but invaded again in 1670 and only returned in 1697. Charles became heir to the Duchy on the death of his elder brother Ferdinand Philippe. In 1678, he married widow of Michael I, King of Poland, they had four children. His grandson, Francis I, became Holy Roman Emperor in 1745, his older cousin Charles Henri, Prince of Vaudémont was a talented military commander. Charles was engaged to Marie Jeanne of Savoy but after his uncle was restored as Duke of Lorraine in 1661, he abandoned this marriage and returned to the Imperial court at Vienna.
He took up a career in the Imperial Army, his first major action being Saint Gotthard in 1664, where he served under the Imperial commander, Montecuccoli. When France re-occupied Lorraine in 1670, both Charles and his uncle fought in the Imperial Army during the 1672-1678 Franco-Dutch War, he was wounded at the Battle of Seneffe in 1674 and replaced his uncle in the Rhineland after his death in 1675, taking part in the recapture of Philippsburg in 1676. In recognition of this, he was promoted Generalfeldmarschall in 1676 but was unable to build on these gains due to poor logistics; the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679 confirmed his title as Duke of Lorraine but France retained the territory and in 1681, they annexed Strasbourg, capital of Alsace. Charles' prospects of regaining his Duchy seemed remote and when the Great Turkish War began in 1683, he was appointed Commander of the Imperial army, he was outnumbered and the Ottomans were supported by anti-Habsburg Hungarians known as Kurucs, as well as non-Catholic minorities who opposed Leopold's anti-Protestant policies.
Charles positioned his men outside Vienna, shielding them from the plague epidemic prevailing in the city, unlike the Ottomans, many of whom died of it. His forces focused on raiding Ottoman camps and protecting resupply convoys to the city, while Pope Innocent XI assembled an alliance to support the Habsburgs. Known as the Holy League and led by John III Sobieski, this combined with Charles's troops to defeat the besieging army at the Battle of Vienna on 12 September 1683. In the next few years, the Habsburg army under Charles recaptured large parts of Hungary. However, when the Nine Years War broke out in 1688, he returned to command Imperial forces in the Rhineland, where he died on 8 April 1690, he was buried in Braunschweig and succeeded by his son Leopold, restored as Duke of Lorraine after the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick. De Périni, Hardÿ. Batailles françaises, Volume V. Ernest Flammarion, Paris.. The Habsburg Monarchy 1618–1815. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521780346.. The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent.
Pegasus Books. ISBN 978-1933648637.. Battles That Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598844290. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Charles V. or IV.". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5. Cambridge University Press. P. 934. Charles V. Duke of Lorraine and military observations and maxims, of Charles V. late duke of Lorrain, general of the Emperor's forces From a manuscript left by him, never printed before. Schilb antiquarian
Siege of Mons (1691)
The Siege of Mons, 15 March–10 April 1691, was a major operation fought during the Nine Years' War, was the main French objective for the 1691 campaign in the Spanish Netherlands. The city was besieged and captured before the normal commencement of the campaigning season with minimal losses; the outcome was not in doubt, but in a conflict dominated by siege warfare, neither the French army of King Louis XIV, nor the forces of the Grand Alliance under King William III, could bring about a decisive battle. After the siege the duc de Boufflers bombarded the neutral city of Liege, whilst the duc de Luxembourg captured Halle, scored a minor victory against the Prince of Waldeck at the Battle of Leuze in September. Strategically, little had changed in the war, both combatants returned to winter quarters at the end of the campaigning season. French forces had secured considerable success in 1690. In July Luxembourg fought and won his tactical masterpiece at the Battle of Fleurus, nullifying any Allied hopes of invading France, whilst at sea, Admiral Tourville defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet off Beachy Head.
In August Catinat had triumphed at the Battle of Staffarda in northern Italy. The only bright spot for the Grand Alliance in 1690 was King William’s victory over James II in Ireland at the Battle of the Boyne, yet despite the battlefield successes, French forces in 1690 had failed to break the coalition ranged against the ambitions of King Louis. In 1691 the French had planned for a double strike: Nice in northern Italy, Mons in the Spanish Netherlands; the Netherlands were again where France would concentrate its main war effort, was a theatre where Louis’ war minister, had striven to bring together an larger army than had been assembled the year before. These attacks on Nice and Mons were planned for early in the campaign season, illustrating Vauban’s dictum that "It is a favourable circumstance to be able to attack before the enemy takes the field in strength … "Meanwhile, in Ireland the war continued into 1691, but William now felt secure enough on his new throne in the British Isles to return to the war on the Continent.
William entered The Hague on 5 February to organise his army for the coming campaign. After securing forces totalling 220,000 men, the Stadtholder-King retired to his country home. In mid-March, surrounded by representatives of the Grand Alliance, he received news that Mons was under siege. Louvois engineered the considerable preparations for the siege throughout the preceding winter: stores were filled with supplies in Namur, Philippeville and Givet, no less than 21,000 labourers were gathered for the construction of the lines of circumvallation. Louis, accompanied by members of his court, joined his army in the Spanish Netherlands to take control of the armies in theatre, arriving at the front on 21 March; the King's besieging army of 46,000 surrounded its garrison of some 4,800 men. The Allies had formed an army of 38,000 under William to relieve the city, but Luxembourg’s army of observation 46,000 strong, denied the Allies any possibility of disrupting the operation. Marshal Boufflers began the investment on 15 March.
In one of the most intense attacks of all King Louis’ wars, two batteries, each consisting of 12 mortars, bombarded the city in preparation for the assault. At 17:00 on 8 April, the besieged inhabitants beat the chamade; the siege had ended before the normal commencement of campaigning. Louis returned to Versailles on 12 April, whilst William, after distributing his troops to various garrisons, returned to The Hague; the French now prepared for the rest of the 1691 campaign season with the creation of five large armies bound for five major fronts: Flanders, the Moselle, the Rhine and Roussillon. The largest of these forces, 49 battalions and 140 squadrons under the command Luxembourg, took station in Flanders, but little was accomplished after the siege by either the French or the Grand Alliance. Luxembourg devastated Halle at the end of May, whilst Boufflers bombarded neutral Liege in early June, but these aggressive acts had no political results. Louis’ personal military advisor and expert in the art of war, the Marquis de Chamlay, argued that these victories should be followed by a field battle that would destroy the Allied army and force a conclusion to the conflict.
Louvois, suggested a bombardment of Brussels would force the issue, but was opposed by Luxembourg and Vauban. William, arrived at Anderlecht on 2 June to take command of the Allied army of 63 battalions and 180 squadrons, totalling 56,000 men. Luxembourg manoeuvred to prevent William besieging Dinant, but subsequent manoeuvres produced little action. After William left his troops in the command of the Prince of Waldeck, Luxembourg’s cavalry routed part of the Allied army at Leuze on 18 September, before all combatants returned to winter quarters. Chandler, David; the Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. Spellmount Limited. ISBN 0-946771-42-1 Lynn, John A; the Wars of Louis XIV, 1667–1714. Longman. ISBN 0-582-05629-2 Wolf, John B; the Emergence of the Great Powers: 1685–1715. Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-139750-4 Wolf, John B. Louis XIV. Panther Books. ISBN 0-586-03332-7
Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times. All of this is open to the public, much of it has been digitized and is available on their website; the main goal of the bureau is to collect and make art research available, most notably in the field of Dutch Masters. Via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries; the library owns 450,000 titles, of which ca. 150,000 are auction catalogs. There are ca. 3,000 magazines, of which 600 are running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the standard record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works, which include English as well as Dutch titles; the RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a thesaurus of terms for management of information on art and architecture.
The original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in California. The collection was started through bequests by Frits Lugt, art historian and owner of a massive collection of drawings and prints, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, a collector, art historian and museum curator, their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Though not all of the library's holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online; the website itself is available in both an English user interface. In the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/ followed by the artist's record number. For example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number.
To reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artwork's record number. For example, the artwork record number for The Night Watch is 3063, so its RKD artwork page can be referenced; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, but these can not be referenced online by record number. Rather, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called "The Night Watch" is a militia painting, all records fitting this keyword can be seen by selecting this from the image screen; the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is filled with biblical references. This is the iconclass database. To see all images that depict Miriam's dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a special search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven by hand on a loom. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are discontinuous, it is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design. Most weavers use a natural warp thread, such as linen or cotton; the weft threads are wool or cotton, but may include silk, silver, or other alternatives. First attested in English in 1467, the word tapestry derives from Old French tapisserie, from tapisser, meaning "to cover with heavy fabric, to carpet", in turn from tapis, "heavy fabric", via Latin tapes, the Latinisation of the Greek τάπης, "carpet, rug"; the earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek, ta-pe-ja, written in the Linear B syllabary. The success of decorative tapestry can be explained by its portability.
Kings and noblemen could transport tapestries from one residence to another. In churches, they were displayed on special occasions. Tapestries were draped on the walls of castles for insulation during winter, as well as for decorative display. In the Middle Ages and renaissance, a rich tapestry panel woven with symbolic emblems, mottoes, or coats of arms called a baldachin, canopy of state or cloth of state was hung behind and over a throne as a symbol of authority; the seat under such a canopy of state would be raised on a dais. The iconography of most Western tapestries goes back to written sources, the Bible and Ovid's Metamorphoses being two popular choices. Apart from the religious and mythological images, hunting scenes are the subject of many tapestries produced for indoor decoration. Tapestries have been used since at least Hellenistic times. Samples of Greek tapestry have been found preserved in the desert of Tarim Basin dating from the 3rd century BC; the form reached a new stage in Europe in the early 14th century AD.
The first wave of production occurred in Switzerland. Over time, the craft expanded to France and the Netherlands; the basic tools have remained much the same. In the 14th and 15th centuries, France was a thriving textile town; the industry specialised in fine wool tapestries which were sold to decorate palaces and castles all over Europe. Few of these tapestries survived the French Revolution as hundreds were burnt to recover the gold thread, woven into them. Arras is still used to refer to a rich tapestry no matter. Indeed, as literary scholar Rebecca Olson argues, arras were the most valuable objects in England during the early modern period and inspired writers such as William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser to weave these tapestries into their most important works such as Hamlet and The Faerie Queen. By the 16th century, the towns of Oudenaarde, Brussels and Enghien had become the centres of European tapestry production. In the 17th century, Flemish tapestries were arguably the most important productions, with many specimens of this era still extant, demonstrating the intricate detail of pattern and colour embodied in painterly compositions of monumental scale.
In the 19th century, William Morris resurrected the art of tapestry-making in the medieval style at Merton Abbey. Morris & Co. made successful series of tapestries for home and ecclesiastical uses, with figures based on cartoons by Edward Burne-Jones. Kilims and Navajo rugs are types of tapestry work. In the mid-twentieth century, new tapestry art forms were developed by children at the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Harrania, by modern French artists under Jean Lurçat in Aubusson, France. Traditional tapestries are still made at the factory of Gobelins and a few other old European workshops, which repair and restore old tapestries. While tapestries have been created for many centuries and in every continent in the world, what distinguishes the contemporary field from its pre-World War ll history is the predominance of the artist as weaver in the contemporary medium; this trend has its roots in France during the 1950s where one of the "cartoonists" for the Aubusson Tapestry studios, Jean Lurçat spearheaded a revival of the medium by streamlining color selection, thereby simplifying production, by organizing a series of Biennial exhibits held in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Polish work submitted to the first Biennale, which opened in 1962, was quite novel. Traditional workshops in Poland had collapsed as a result of the war. Art supplies in general were hard to acquire. Many Polish artists had learned to weave as part of their art school training and began creating individualistic work by using atypical materials like jute and sisal. With each Biennale the popularity of works focusing on exploring innovative constructions from a wide variety of fiber resounded around the world. There were many weavers in pre-war United States, but there had never been a prolonged system of workshops for producing tapestries. Therefore, weavers in America were self-taught and chose to design as well as weave their art. Through these Lausanne exhibitions, US artists/weavers, others in countries all over the world, were excited about the Polish trend towards experimental forms. Throughout the 1970s all weavers had explored some manner of techniques and materials in vogue at the time.
What this movement contributed to the newly realized field of art weaving, termed "contemporary tapestry", was the option for working