ATTRIBUTION AND HISTORY
This tapestry panel was almost certainly initially intended for the covering of a chair seat. Northern Flanders experienced a significant influx of tapestry weavers from the southern provinces because of religious conflicts in the late 16th Century. They re-established themselves, but while their counterparts in the southern states often continued their tradition in their family dynasties, the northern regions rarely had these family businesses longer than for the founder's generation. Also in contrast to the southern development of differing styles in the various weaving centres, the north had frequent contacts between the various towns and distinct styles for the centres did not develop in the same manner. The cities of Gouda and Schoonhoven particularly developed a prolific production of florally decorated table carpets, chair covers and hangings in the 17th Century that were woven in small workshops. These individual weavers supplied larger merchants, some of which were trading in the important port of Amsterdam. These floral hangings and covers were intended not for the court but for the living quarters and offices of the bourgeoisie in the cities. They were often adorned with a biblically inspired central medallion and used for special holidays or occasions (Heinz, D.: Europäische Tapisseriekunst des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, 1995, p. 119).
A chair covered with a similar unusually dense floral spray is in the Stadelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft, while another similarly decorated table carpet with a central medallion of Daniel in the Lion Den is in the Rhösska Konstslöjdmuseet, Gothenburg (Burgers, C.A.: Geweven Boeket, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam, 1971, cat. 35, p. 67 and cat. 17, p. 50, respectively). Another similar table carpet, dated to circa 1650, is illustrated in Göbel, H.: , Tapestries of the Lowlands, New York, 1924, fig. 488b.