Saturday, July 4, 2009

Religious Themes in Tapestries for the Home

Many households enjoy having reminders of their faith present in their home. Religious themes have always been a favorite of tapestry weavers, and these impressive wall hangings have become staples for many interior designers. The styles range from Renaissance portrayals of Old Testament scenes to Raphaelite cherubs.

Angel Tapestries

Angels are often shown in tapestries chosen to hang in a bedroom. The idea of angels watching over loved ones while they slumber is a comforting one. This provides a tangible way to reassure young children, and remind parents that simple faith is often best. Larger tapestries can even be used as bed hangings or as a canopy to overhang a child's bed.

The restful colors used in many angel tapestries adds to the feelings of serenity and peacefulness. Pinks, creams, golds and blues add a softness that creates a peaceful feel. These colors traditionally represent emotions of calm and restfulness, and can be picked up in the bedspread, pillows and window treatments to turn a bedroom into an oasis.

Angels are portrayed as rosy cheeked Cupids, serene seraphim or avenging archangels battling evil. The appearance of the angel to shepherds in a field to announce the birth of the Savior or the revealing of Gabriel to Mary for the Annunciation are Biblical events oft captured on tapestry for display. Feathered wings can be stark and swanlike, or downy and soft - often they reflect pale colors cast by candlelight, dawn or the glow of a halo.

Biblical Events

Old Testament stories such as Moses with the stone tablets, the first sight of the Promised Land or Elijah in a chariot of fire have been worked into tapestries. New Testament scenes are also favorites of tapestry weavers. Various portrayals of Christ with the little children, standing at the door and knocking, or ascending into Heaven are often used as subject matter.

Madonnas and reproductions of famous paintings in tapestry form can be easily found. Famous works of art such as the Last Supper or the Creation of Adam have been worked into the textiles for use as wall hangings as well. Those who have a passion for a particular artist can find tapestries showcasing the art of DaVinci, Michelangelo and Raphael among others.

For those who find such daily reminders comforting, these tapestries make perfect wall coverings for family and living rooms. They can also be used as throws or hung over the back of a couch or settee. The rich colors used in most of these Biblically based tapestries will blend well with traditional furnishing. The Baroque style of many of the masters has been continued into the tapestry versions of the pieces.

Catholic expressionism is another facet of religious tapestry. Christ on the cross, various saints and the holy Virgin Mary have been used as subjects for tapestries for hundreds of years. Some tapestries actually form the shape of a cross, and have the words of various psalms woven into the cloth across the body of the tapestry or around the border.

Tapestries of Other Faiths

Christianity doesn't hold a patent on religious expression through textiles. Many Jewish tapestries dating back thousands of years have been reproduced and provide a stunning historical addition to a room. Muslim tapestries feature a fineness of work and symmetrical beauty of another unique styles. Celtic designs honor earth based religions dating back to the age of the druids. African themes honor religions practiced there, and many Eastern forms of worship have been rendered in tapestry form as well.

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