How Wall Tapestries Have Been Brightening Interiors for Centuries

Wall Tapestry Used to Decorate Home Interior

This post is sponsored by Fine Art America. Our partners are handpicked by My Modern Met’s team because they represent the best in design and innovation.

If you’re looking for a way to add some warmth and texture to any room in your home, you may want to consider hanging a tapestry from your walls. For centuries, this textile art has been used to enhance interiors and now, Fine Art America makes it easier than ever for you to place a wall hanging in your home.

As the world’s largest online art marketplace, Fine Art America works with thousands of artists, photographers, and graphic designers. This means that no matter what your style, you’ll easily be able to find the right tapestry to suit your needs. Their lightweight, microfiber tapestries will give you a piece of museum-quality artwork that is ready to hang.

In recent years, wall hangings have seen a resurgence. What was once seen as simple decor for dorm rooms or only for those with bohemian style is now rightly being valued for its artistic quality. More than ever, people are using textiles as a way to soften their interiors and bring some movement into their homes.

Modern wall hangings make the perfect accent, whether you place them over your bed, above your couch, or along a curved wall where traditional paintings are difficult to hang. As they are lightweight, you don’t need to worry about having to place anchors into the wall. In fact, there’s so much flexibility in how to hang a tapestry that they work even if you are renting and don’t want to put holes in the walls. Velcro adhesive, nails, and pushpins are all options for mounting the flowy fabric. But if you want to make an elegant statement, you could drape it over a rod, use a poster hanger, or even frame it.

So where does the tradition of wall tapestries come from? We’ll have to go back to the Middle Ages to find our answer.


History of Wall Tapestries

While tapestries have been found dating back to ancient Greece, it was really during the 14th century CE that they found their footing. Popular throughout Europe, the textile pieces were handwoven on a loom. Though cotton, linen, and wool were popular materials, it wasn’t unusual to find silver, gold, and silk woven into the more opulent tapestries. These grand statement pieces were often hung above thrones and their portability made it possible for kings and noblemen to roll them up and bring them to their different residences.

Though Germany and Switzerland were home to early workshops, the medium really hit its stride in 16th-century Flanders. There, workshops full of skilled artists thrived and often collaborated with the best artists of the day to design and produce massive tapestries. One fine example of this is the tapestries designed by Raphael that still hang in the Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy.

Later, in the 19th century, William Morris revived the art of tapestry making by creating stylish wall hangings based on designs by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones.

After World War II, there was a shift in which artists took the reins as weavers and began producing their own designs. Tapestry exhibitions began to appear throughout Europe and the United States to give value to their work. Art programs began teaching fiber art and by the 1980s, it was a popular component of art school.

This continued enthusiasm for tapestries just proves the lasting legacy that these pieces of art possess.



Modern Wall Hangings

Now that we’ve learned about how wall tapestries can be used in the home and their history, it’s time to find the perfect art piece for your interior. With nearly five million tapestries available, Fine Art America’s selection can seem daunting, but they’ve made it easy. You can filter by collection, subject, shape, and color to quickly narrow down your choices and find the perfect tapestry.

To get you started and give you a little inspiration, here are some of our favorite highlights from Fine Art America’s tapestry selection.

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All images via Fine Art America.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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