A Falconer with Two Ladies and a Foot Soldier

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France or Flanders, possibly Paris or Bruges

A Falconer with Two Ladies and a Foot Soldier, c. 1500

Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
362.7 x 285.8 cm (142 7/8 x 112 1/2 in.)
Gift of Kate S. Buckingham, 1922.5379

Two fashionably dressed women, a man in falconer’s garb, another man in the less ornate costume of a foot soldier, and a dog occupy an island surrounded by a flat expanse covered in an overall pattern of small flowers and plants known as millefleur. The shallow, earthy cross section visible on the front edge of the island reveals that some attempt was made to create an impression of depth. It is unlikely that this image had any particular symbolic or narrative significance; rather, it was probably the decorative qualities of the figures’ stances and costumes and the fantastical millefleur setting that appealed to contemporary viewers. Such millefleur designs were extremely popular because of their accessibility, functional flexibility, and manageable scale. This particular example is of an appropriate size and subject to have hung in the home of a wealthy family.

— Exhibition label, The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries, November 1, 2008–January 4, 2009, Regenstein Hall.