GRENIER, Pasquier
(active 1447-1493 in Tournai)


Burgundian tapestry merchant. He is one of the most important figures in the history of late medieval tapestry. Once considered a master weaver, he was subsequently revealed as the most influential 15th-century tapestry merchant. He dealt in many of the finest tapestries surviving from the second half of the 15th century. He secured his first payment for textiles from Philip II (the Good), Duke of Burgundy, in 1454-55 and subsequently supplied him with many magnificent and expensive hangings. In 1459 he sold tapestries of Alexander the Great, in 1461 the Passion and Peasants and Woodcutters, in 1462 Esther and Ahasuerus and the Swan Knight and in 1466 Orange Pickers and Woodcutters. Those of Alexander and the Passion were particularly splendid sets, being of huge dimensions and containing much gold and silver thread.

In 1459 two members of Grenier's family were in Milan showing designs for tapestries of Alexander to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, and in 1467-68 Grenier made a very large sale, including tapestries of Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander and the Passion, to Edward IV of England. Moreover, in 1471-76 he received payments for a set of 11 tapestries of the Trojan War for Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy; Grenier's son Jean (d. 1520) sold another set in 1475 to Federigo II da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. In 1486 both Pasquier and Jean were granted protection and licences to import various goods, including tapestries, into England by Henry VII; by 1488 Henry had also purchased tapestries of the Trojan War. Further sets were owned by Charles VIII of France, Don Inigo López de Mendoza (1442-1515), 1st Marqués de Mondéjar, and Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.