Search the Collections
Gift of Archer M. Huntington
Five Centuries of Tapestry, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1976
Tapestries:15th-20th Centuries, Transamerica Pyramid lobby, San Francisco, 1979
In 1679 the weaver Jan de Melter became a dean of the tapestry weaver of Brussels. He prospered there, keeping six looms busy with important commissions from France. These French connections persuaded him to emigrate in 1688 to Lille, which had become a French town in 1667. His atelier there had nine looms in operation, and he drew a pension from France until his death in 1698. This weaving is extraordinarily fine, with much silk. Colors are light; the mother wears a peach-colored gown and a blue cloak. Vestiges of metallic thread are barely visible around the infant’s head, and are much darkened by time. Obvious reweaving above the mother’s head shows where a halo was removed. Certain dyes had a destructive effect on the wool, accounting, perhaps, for the repair. From Anna Gray Bennett, "Five Centuries of Tapestry: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco" (San Francisco: Chronicle Books; The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1976; repr. 1992): 200.