Tapestries Today, the Fancy Royal Kind

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen is overbearingly baroque.  Dim rooms are crammed with paintings and objects of luxurious sorts: gold, ivory, inlaid wood. In the face of such excess of visual information, it’s hard to concentrate on and appreciate the craftsmanship of any single item. In these settings, I find my way through the rooms by concentrating on textiles.  There were many tapestries. Some rooms were entirely covered with tapestries.

The tapestries are interesting in the way that such finely-woven textiles are amazing, but I can’t say I yearn to live in any of these rooms.  (Slippery and lumpy gold couch backed by a writing battle scene, etc…) In huge tapestries, I look for entry into them by examining details.  Here’s a fellow from the first room. One foot, one hoof.

In one of the tapestry-covered rooms, the light shone in directly on a small portion of a wall. I felt the fabric was disintegrating in front of me. The sewn-up slits were the most prominent feature.

The Great Hall on the third floor holds the Rosenborg Tapestries, woven in 1685-93, a series commissioned by King Christian V to celebrate his victories in the Scanian War. The huge tapestries show scenes of ships at harbor, battles, and victorious men. It would have been more interesting with a guide to explain how the scenes fit into historical events.

Nice horses, by not my favorite sorts of men.

A really nice dog.

It would take me a year to weave even a tiny bit of tapestry at this scale, like this boat.

Walking in fresh air was welcome after three packed floors. This wonderful lion led to way to the castle.



One comment

  1. Amazing tapestries, but definitely visual overload. Reminds me of the fine silk needle work of the women making rugs in Turkey! I’d go blind in a day!