Dean Castle Collection Piece of the Week

During the redevelopment of Dean Castle, museum collections that are normally on display in the castle are being shown in the Dick institute.  In the North Museum is a very fine late 15th century tapestry. It is an example of the work of the tapestry weavers of the low countries, probably Brussels. A wealthy patron would commission a painter to produce a ‘cartoon’ which would be used as the design for the weaver to create a tapestry.  This un-named painter was known as ‘The Master of St. Gudule’.  He was active in the Brussels area at that time and this title was attached to him due to a painting, ‘The Rural Sermon’ in the Musee de Louvre, Paris. The church of this name is in the background of the picture.


The tapestry is a tryptich showing the annunciation, the nativity and the adoration. It normally sits within a carved, wooden and gilded frame, with gilded angels at the corners and flying across the top. These have been removed for safety reasons and for future display in the Dick Institute. The frame is too large to be removed from Dean Castle. It has been covered and protected during the building works within the upper room of the castle Keep, the Solar. The tapestry, the frame and the angels will be reunited when Dean Castle is redisplayed in 2021.

North Museum, Dick Institute