The War of Troy Tapestry

In this episode, we’ll be visiting The War of Troy tapestry at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Welcome to Art, Culture & Books with me, Anthony King.

Woven from a combination of wool and silk, this impressive tapestry spans over four meters in height and extends to a length of seven meters. Originally, it constituted one piece among a series of 11 hangings recognized as The Trojan War tapestries. When exhibited collectively, these hangings, if laid side by side, would have reached an astonishing length exceeding 100 meters. The production of multiple sets of The Trojan War tapestries was undertaken, finding a place of prominence within the palaces of some of Europe’s most influential individuals.

The War of Troy tapestry is from 1475-1490, Tournai, in northern France (which is now modern-day Belgium). In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Greeks after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband, the king of Sparta. The encyclopedia Britannica tells us that “Archaeological finds in Turkey suggest that the city of Troy did exist but that a conflict on the immense scale of a 10-year siege may not have actually occurred.”

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By Anthony King (c)