Therese Makes a Tapestry

by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs and Renée Graef

Thérèse is a fictional member of a real family of artisans who lived in... read more

Thérèse is a fictional member of a real family of artisans who lived in France in the mid–17th century, working at the Gobelins Manufactury. Through her eyes, we see all the stages necessary for the creation of a tapestry, beginning with the painting of a scene and the sketching of a cartoon copy, and then the stages of spinning and dying the wool and weaving the tapestry itself, using the cartoon as a guide. All of this is done in preparation for a visit from King Louis XIV, who had commissioned a series of tapestries about his life achievements. Both the text and illustrations give a strong sense of the daily lives of ordinary people living in a specific time and place, as we see Thérèse interacting with other artisans in her community. The endpages show a detailed birds-eye map of the manufactory and all the places Thérèse visited as she gathered the necessary materials for her project. (Ages 7–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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