Painted tapestry
"Events in Brewing"


Tapestries had several roles in medieval society. They were a visible display of the wealth of an individual, as well as being insulation against cold and damp when hung on a wall or over a window.

The inspiration for this tapestry came from the Nine Heroes Tapestry, which hangs in the Cloisters museum in New York. The Nine Heroes Tapestry shows 9 different "heroes" around a central, royal figure. Each figure is doing something completely different. In my tapestry, I tried to associate each of the images with an activity related to brewing: from picking the grapes, stomping them, having barrels made, testing and evaluating the product, giving some to your overlord, and finally making a presentation to the king. .  

tapestry.jpg (43991 bytes)

After this tapestry was painted, the finished product was then "redrawn" to darken and highlight the lines.  This is not so obvious, even in the larger images below, but all the lines are actually black.

The images all have been taken from Medieval Life Illustrations, Selected and arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton. The images, according to the publisher, Dover Publications, came from Der Bilderschmuck der Fruehdrucke, a 20 volume set, which was edited by Albert Schramm and published in Leipzig in the 1920s. 

The intent was to find six panels showing consecutive actions during brewing.  I chose the 6 scenes below. 

panel1.jpg (18750 bytes)
panel2.jpg (23771 bytes)
panel3.jpg (19842 bytes)
panel6.jpg (17689 bytes)
panel5.jpg (16693 bytes)
panel4.jpg (17830 bytes)

Panels 2, 5, and 6 did not cause the eye to flow in the clockwise I wanted, so I reversed the images for those panels. Now the challenge was how to tie all the scenes together. 

The border comes from plate 23 and the columns and arches come from plate 8 of The Cambridge Library of Ornamental Art, Medieval Ornament, Gallery Books. The publishers claim that all the images come from the 9th to 16th centuries. (Figures 4, 5, 6, & 7)


tapestry panel1.jpg (43731 bytes) tapestry panel2.jpg (34107 bytes)

There is still more to be shown.  I need to finish the rest of the photos, and get these to match up the way I would like. 

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