Tapestry

Room 94

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Tapestry is one of the oldest forms of woven textiles. For centuries these beautiful objects were among the most magnificent possessions of kings, princes and popes. Our collection ranges from medieval and Renaissance masterpieces to the finest examples of contemporary tapestry design.

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The V&A has recognised the importance of tapestry since it was founded, acquiring five important medieval and Renaissance pieces in the 1850s. The collection has grown to include many varieties of tapestry weaving, from fragments of Egyptian tapestry, to the magnificent Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, and modern works by contemporary designers, including Marta Rogoyska and Ali Salim.

Exploring Tapestry

Photo of The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries (detail), unknown, 1425 – 1430, Netherlands. Museum no. T.204-1957. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries (detail), unknown, 1425 – 1430, Netherlands. Museum no. T.204-1957. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Glove, Sheldon Tapestry Workshops, 1590 – 1610, England. Museum no. T.145-1931. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Glove, Sheldon Tapestry Workshops, 1590 – 1610, England. Museum no. T.145-1931. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Chains, tapestry, designed by Archie Brennan, made by Dovecot Studios, 1974 – 5, Scotland. Museum no. T.187-1979. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Chains, tapestry, designed by Archie Brennan, made by Dovecot Studios, 1974 – 5, Scotland. Museum no. T.187-1979. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of The War of Troy (detail), tapestry, unknown,  1475-1490, Belgium. Museum no.  6-1887. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The War of Troy (detail), tapestry, unknown, 1475-1490, Belgium. Museum no. 6-1887. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Pink Horse and Fried Egg, tapestry, Marta Rogoyska, 1979 – 80, England. Museum no. T.54-1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pink Horse and Fried Egg, tapestry, Marta Rogoyska, 1979 – 80, England. Museum no. T.54-1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Chair with tapestry cover, Georges Jacob and Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, 1780 – 90, France. Museum no. 1086-1882. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Chair with tapestry cover, Georges Jacob and Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, 1780 – 90, France. Museum no. 1086-1882. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Animals by the Watering Hole, (detail), tapestry, Ali Salim, 1985. Museum no. ME.1-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Animals by the Watering Hole, (detail), tapestry, Ali Salim, 1985. Museum no. ME.1-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tapestry fragment, unknown, 1000 – 1199. Egypt. Museum no. 2117-1900. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tapestry fragment, unknown, 1000 – 1199. Egypt. Museum no. 2117-1900. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of The Forest (detail), tapestry, William Morris, 1887, England. Museum no. T.111-1926. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Forest (detail), tapestry, William Morris, 1887, England. Museum no. T.111-1926. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tapestry, unknown, 1680 – 1720, probably Peru. Museum no. 933-1901. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tapestry, unknown, 1680 – 1720, probably Peru. Museum no. 933-1901. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Learn more about Tapestry

Background image: Background image: The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries (detail), unknown, 1425 – 1430, Netherlands. Museum no. T.204-1957. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London