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Tapestry first became prominent as an art form in Western Europe somewhere around 1300. This craft was concentrated in towns situated in the region north of Paris, up to the great rivers of Scheldt and Meuse. Tapestries were produced for exportation all over Europe and at the same time, Flemish tapestry weavers from the North went abroad and spread their skills and art in other countries. Local painters and designers often provided them with models, which they translated into wool and silk. Many of the manufactures became very large factories, where generations of weavers were employed. Although most of these manufactures, such as Mortlake in England or the Dutch workshops of Delft and Gouda, have disappeared nowadays, two important ones are still active: the Manufactura de Santa Barbara in Madrid and above all, the Gobelins in Paris.
In Flemish Tapestry Weavers Abroad, thirteen specialists on the history of tapestry give the actual state of their research. They offer a detailed survey of the lives and works of the Flemish weavers and of their relations with foreign patrons and artists. The book is richly illustrated and has an extensive index.
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