Object type



Fight Between a Falcon and a Heron

Place Associated

France, Paris (probably) (place of manufacture)


circa 1525


wool (warps), wool (wefts), silk (wefts), 12 warps to the inch


overall: 3220 mm x 3140 mm 14400 g


Tapestry woven with wool and silk wefts and wool warps depicting a Fight between a Falcon and a Heron. An aristocratic gentleman in a voided velvet short gown astride a white horse with tasselled bridle looks up at a heron fighting a falcon. On the left a falconer in a dark red velvet short gown wearing a falconry glove whirls a lure above his head. On the right a man raises his right arm. Set in a landscape with a castle in the background, forests and rural buildings in the mid-ground and a pond with ducks and dog sat looking up in the foreground.

Elizabeth Cleland states that: 'The subject matter, and the courtly central protagonist with his passing resemblance to the equestrian portraits of Francis I of France attributed to Jean Clouet (Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the Uffizi, Florence), prompted the suggestion by William Wells that this tapestry might have belonged to a documented series in the French royal collection known as the Hunts of Francis I. These tapestries, inventoried in 1663, were, however, woven in the seventeenth century workshop at the Faubourg Saint Marcel, after designs by Laurent Guyot (c.1575-post-1644). It is now usually posited that Guyot did not base his cartoons on some lost sixteenth-century source, but instead designed them in a historiated style, perhaps inspired in part by a group of engravings by Antonio Tempesta (1550-1630). Yet there is no reason to rule out altogether the suggestion of a now lost tapestry series representing hunting scenes made during the reign of Francis I which inspired Guyot’s seventeenth century edition.' (Cleland, E. and Karafel, L., (2017). Glasgow Museums: Tapestries from The Burrell Collection, 353).

Provenance: M & R Stora, Paris; from whom purchased by Sir William Burrell, 15 July 1936, for £2,200.

Credit Line/Donor

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944


Burrell Collection: European Tapestries

ID Number



Burrell Collection East Galleries

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