Latest News | 18 May 2021

Medieval masterpieces return to Chatsworth

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Two medieval masterpieces have returned to Chatsworth House, part of The Devonshire Group, in time for its reopening to visitors.

From today, the house will reopen its doors to the public where visitors will be able to view the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries as part of its Life Stories exhibition.

At almost 600 years old and measuring more than 11 by 4 metres each, they are among the largest pictorial representations of any kind from their period and the only great 15th century hunting tapestries to survive.

Depicting medieval scenes of noblemen and women hunting in imaginary landscapes, they are believed to have been made in Arras, France between 1425 and 1450.

The tapestries belonged to the Devonshire family for more than 500 years before they were accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax payable on the estate of the 10th Duke of Devonshire.

They were allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum where they have been housed ever since.

Chatsworth is working in partnership with the V&A to bring the tapestries back to the house for this eight-month display.

The Duke of Devonshire said: “It is a great privilege to welcome these tapestries back to Chatsworth; they had been part of the collection for very many years until they were given in partial lieu of death duties in the 1950s.

“Since then, they have been superbly looked after at the V&A Museum and we are delighted that they are allowing us to enjoy them here in Derbyshire once again for a few months in 2021.”

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