Traditionally known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, these tapestries were woven in wool, metallic threads, and silk, and include the depiction of 101 species of plants, of which over 85 have been identified. The vibrant colors still evident today were produced with three dye plants: weld (yellow), madder (red), and woad (blue)." (from the Met Museum website.)
As we discussed in class, weaving is an art/craft developed by people all over the world. "Archaeologists believe that basket making and weaving were probably the first 'crafts' developed by humans...The exact date of the first handwoven works...remains a mystery, [though] there is evidence of cloth being made in Mesopotamia and in Turkey as far back as 7000 to 8000 BC" (Susan Wylly, "A Brief History of Weaving").
In the 20th century, there have been some significant contributors to the art and craft of weaving, artists and designers too many to mention, though a few prominent figures follow:
Magdalena Abkanowicz working on her Abakans above and sitting with one of her 'Abakans' below. (circa 1969).
It is also worthwhile to consider the tradition of an 'artist' designing a 'cartoon' or image for a tapestry, that is then translated and fabricated by a team of highly skilled artisans. This is discussed at length in the Arthur Danto reading posted on the Google Docs site, "Reflections on Fabric and Meaning: From the Tapestry to the Loincloth."
Above, a tapestry of a Romare Bearden design by the French weaving studio, Pinton. A variety of artist's works interpreted or produced by weaving studios and individual craftspeople can be found at the website of the Gloria F. Ross Tapestry Center.