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The Lovers

A work made of hemp, wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of hemp, wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave.




Basel (present-day Switzerland)

About this artwork

In the late Middle Ages, domestic spaces contained relatively little furniture, mostly utilitarian chests, cupboards, and benches. Textiles in the form of cushions, bed hangings, and tapestries provided softening elements of warmth and color. Although Flemish and northern French workshops produced monumental tapestry series for princes and cathedrals throughout Europe, in the cities of Basel and Strasbourg, on the upper reaches of the Rhine, weavers specialized in more modest tapestries. They included many woman artisans. Their tapestries featured witty, secular subjects—lovers pledging their faith (as here), fabulous animals, and wild men—and often had a gently moralizing tone, indebted to early engravings produced in the same region.


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The Lovers


Basel (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1490–1500


Hemp, wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave


Inscribed: ich·spil·mit·üch·in·trüwe / des·sol·üch·niemer·rüwen (I dally with you faithfully; I hope you will never regret it)


105.3 × 78.9 cm (41 1/2 × 31 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Kate S. Buckingham

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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