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Cimabue

  • Object:

    Tapestry

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1881 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bone, Herbert Alfred, born 1854 - died 1932 (designer)
    Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory (weaver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool tapestry and silk on a cotton warp

  • Museum number:

    T.153-1990

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Tapestry panel depicting Renaissance artist Cimabue wearing a stylised version of medieval dress and posed one foot in front of the other with a fan-shaped easel in his left hand and paint brush, prepared with crimson paint, ready to paint with his right hand. The composition has a gold-coloured ground and the figure stands on a plinth inscribed 'CIMABUE'. A plain brown border surrounds the central composition with a woven gold-coloured inscription reading 'ROYAL WINDSOR TAPESTRY' and symbol a on the top and 'HERBERT BONE INVI' on the lower edge.

The figure wears a close-fitting liripipe hood and cloak with blue lining, leggings and a short patterned tunic with elaborate gold-coloured edging. Similar decoration can be seen on his belt and purse, shoe decoration and leggings' bands. The figure is bearded and shows a full fringe of hair beneath his hood.

The tapestry is finely woven in wool (figure and border) and silk (background and figure details) on a cotton warp at 24 threads to the inch. Interlocking tapestry technique was employed at colour intersections.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1881 (made)

Artist/maker

Bone, Herbert Alfred, born 1854 - died 1932 (designer)
Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory (weaver)

Materials and Techniques

Wool tapestry and silk on a cotton warp

Marks and inscriptions

'CIMABUE'
Inscribed on the plinth

'ROYAL WINDSOR TAPESTRY' [and symbol a on the top] and 'HERBERT BONE INVI' [on the lower edge]
On the border

Dimensions

Length: 41 in, Length: 104 cm, Width: 15.5 cm, Width: 39.5 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1990/106.

The design was originally made by Herbert Bone in 1881 as part of a set of mosaics depicting saints and historic figures to be made by Dr A. Salviati, formerly an eminent Venetian lawyer whose work can be seen in St Paul's Cathedral, the Albert Memorial, both in London, and All Saints Church, Windsor. Bone's designs do not appear to have been used by Salviati but tapestries were made from the designs some years later.

According to Gordon G. Cunningham (The Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory 1876-1890, Vol. IV, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Historical Records Publications, 1979) this panel was hitherto lost, last recorded as part of a screen exhibited at the Chicago World Fair in 1893. However, from the rather poor illustration from the catalogue, reproduced by Cunningham, this panel would appear to be a different weaving. It is possible, therefore, that more than one version was woven by the Royal Windsor Tapestry Works.

Descriptive line

Tapestry panel depicting 'Cimabue', wool and silk on a cotton warp, designed by Herbert A. Bone, woven by Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory, Great Britain, 1881

Materials

Wool (textile); Silk thread; Cotton thread

Techniques

Tapestry

Subjects depicted

Portraits

Categories

Tapestry; Textiles

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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