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The Knights and Grapes Mystery Tapestry – Solved

“Czech” it out – the knights and grapes tapestry mystery is solved! When Helen Wyld from Edinburgh, Scotland purchased this beautiful tapestry, she thought it was Scandinavian. But was it? I expressed my skepticism in this post: “A Mystery Tapestry, but Probably not a Norwegian One.”

The answer was given to me from a Twitter follower, Paul McGhee, a retired rug restorer from Old Cambridge, England. Thank you Paul! The primary initials refer to Czech weaver Marie Hoppe Teinitzerová. Paul led me to this site, an article that I have translated through Google Translate.

Marie Hoppe Teinitzer. The founder of textile art in Bohemia

24.9.2020. Jiřina Pouzarová

She gained experience in Europe

Marie Teinitzerová was born on July 3, 1879 in Čížkov near Pelhřimov. However, the family soon moved to Jindřichová Hradec, where her father set up a colonial shop. From early childhood, Marie showed artistic talent. She wanted to focus on textiles with a focus on home culture.

She received her first art education in Brno, then attended the Adolf Böhm School of Painting in Vienna.

From 1902 she studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, from where she transferred to the Higher Weaving School in Berlin. She deepened her knowledge in Denmark, Sweden and France.

After returning to Prague in 1908, he co-founded the association Artěl (a word of Russian origin meaning cooperative) with other artists – one of the most important institutions of Czech applied art and design of the first half of the 20th century.

Her work was awarded the Grand Prize

Already during her stay abroad, Marie Teinitzerová wanted to open her own textile workshop. She succeeded in this in 1910 in Jindřichov Hradec. Initially, the workshop produced handmade textiles (light curtains, covers, bedspreads, tablecloths and curtains, whether woven, embroidered, printed or batik.

In 1911, Marie Teinitzerová wove her first tapestry St. George Fighting the Dragon according to the design of Zdenek Kratochvíl. Together with Emilia Paličková-Mildeová, in 1922-1923 she created complete textile equipment for the chateau in Nové Město nad Metují. There she also met the leading architects Pavlo Janák and Dušan Jurkovič, and this is also where her long-term collaboration with the artist František Kysela began. According to his designs, she wove eight tapestries called Crafts in the Jindřichohradek workshops. Dimensional tapestries were awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris.

A tapestry from the workshops of Jindřichhoradec decorates the Karolinum

In 1925, Marie Teinitzerová married the philosopher Vladimír Hoppe. Thanks to her husband, she got to know President Masaryk personally and found herself in the environment of the intellectual elite of the time.

For the World Exhibition in New York in 1939, she wove the Czechoslovak linen tapestry in her workshops according to the design of Karel Putz. The promising development of the workshops was interrupted by the Second World War, when again only useful fabrics were woven in the workshops.

After the war, Marie Hoppe Teinitzerová tried to create a tapestry center in the grounds of the Červená Lhota castle. Unfortunately, she was unable to complete the project.

For the 600th anniversary of the founding of Charles University, its workshop in Jindřichohradek wove a large Karolinska tapestry according to the design of Vladimír Sychra. The work still decorates the hall of Karolina in Prague.

The work remains underappreciated to this day

Through her niece Olga, she bought a building under the Jindřichohradek castle by the river Nežárka, which she modified for the needs of workshops. However, they were confiscated after the February coup and annexed to Textile Production, later to Cooperative Work, to be finally owned by the Center for Arts and Crafts. Marie Hoppe Teintzerová did come to the workshops, but her influence on the work was limited. In the 1950s, however, many tapestries were realized here according to the designs of leading Czech artists, e.g. Cyril Bouda, Jan Bauch, Ľudovít Fulla or Karel Svolinský. Marie Hoppe Teinitzer dies on November 18, 1960.

After 1989, the textile workshops were returned to the heiress Olga Teinitzerová, who donated the Nežárka tapestry to the church in 2000. The successor to the Center for Arts and Crafts became Ateliéry tapestry Teinitzerová, s. r. o. The workshop still operates in Jindřich Hradec today. Continuing the legacy of its founder, it weaves monumental and small tapestries, restores tapestries, embroideries and carpets.

For Maria Hoppe Teinitzerová, each order was a unique work of art. She approached the technique and the material with immeasurable humility, she respected the order of nature and the laws of harmonious coexistence with it.

She was guided by the ideals of expediency and truthfulness, she wanted to elevate general taste, to make things simple, but still graceful and tasteful. The work of Marie Hoppe Teinitzerová has not yet been fully mapped and her importance for Czech fine art fully appreciated.

When I clicked on the image of the knights and grapes tapestry, the only information was “Tapestry from the workshop of Marie Hoppe Teinitzerová. Source: House of tapestries, cultural traditions and crafts.” (I think this is the website for that place:

She was a prominent figure in Czech tapestry. This is from the website of a contemporary tapestry studio in Slovakia, Gobelin Manufactory Slovakia. I wanted to add this partly to draw attention to the beautiful website of Gobelin Manufactory Slovakia.

The beginnings of gobelin tapestry in Slovakia are inextricably linked with developments in the Czech Republic. Tapestry workshops created by two enthusiastic personalities led to the awakening of artistic textile creation. The first Czechoslovak tapestry manufactory was founded by Rudolf Schlattauer in 1908 in Valašské Meziříčí. The second, only slightly younger workshop was established in 1910 on the initiative of Marie Hoppe-Teinitzerová in Jindřichův Hradec. The painter Ľudovít Fulla became the first Slovak artist to collaborate with the Jindřichův Hradec workshop. Since the 1950s, cooperation between Czech tapestry factories and Slovak painters had fully developed, including L. Mrázová, J. Krén, L. Gandl, M. Klimčák, and E. Zmeták.

Again, thank you Paul McGhee, for leading me to this article. It’s reassuring to know that my instincts about the tapestry were right, that it didn’t seem Scandinavian. Crowdsourcing via social media is amazing! And in this case surprising to me — I use Twitter least of the social media platforms, but I may reconsider.

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