Saint Matthew


The Beauty of Saint Matthew Tapestries

Saint Matthew tapestries are works of art that have been created to celebrate the patron saint of accountants, bankers, and tax collectors. They depict the life and teachings of Saint Matthew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The tapestries are not only decorative pieces but also have religious significance. Tapestries have a long and rich history in both art and religion, and Saint Matthew tapestries are no exception.

Saint Matthew Tapestry

History of Saint Matthew Tapestries

The origins of tapestries can be traced back to the Middle Ages. At that time, tapestries were used to cover cold stone walls and floors of castles and churches to provide insulation. Later on, tapestries became more elaborate, decorative, and also religious in nature.

Saint Matthew tapestries became popular during the Renaissance, a time when art and religious expression were intertwined. Some of the most notable Saint Matthew tapestries from history include those found in the Sistine Chapel in Rome and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.


Saint Matthew tapestries are rich in symbolism. The tapestries often depict Saint Matthew holding a quill and scroll, representing his authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. The tapestries also use various colors, patterns, and imagery to convey religious messages. For example, gold is often used to represent divine light, while the lamb symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice. Interpretation of these symbols can vary, depending on the viewer’s perspective and religious beliefs.


Displaying tapestries in the home can add warmth and elegance to any room. When hanging a tapestry, it is important to consider the size and location of the tapestry, as well as the type of hardware needed to hang it securely.

If you have a large Saint Matthew tapestry, it can serve as a statement piece and act as the focal point of a room. In this case, it’s best to hang it on a wall that is free from clutter or other decorations that could distract from its beauty. A smaller tapestry can be hung as part of a gallery wall or in combination with other artwork to create a cohesive look.

Consider the room’s color scheme when choosing where to hang your tapestry. If the tapestry has colors that are also present in the room, it can help tie everything together. A tapestry hung in a room with neutral colors can add a pop of color and create visual interest.

When hanging a tapestry, make sure to use the appropriate hardware, such as picture hooks or curtain rods, to ensure that it is securely fastened to the wall. Avoid using nails or other sharp objects that could damage the fabric.

Tapestries should be hung in a well-lit area, away from direct sunlight and sources of moisture. Sunlight can cause the colors in the tapestry to fade over time, while moisture can cause mold or mildew to form on the fabric.

To properly care for tapestries, they should be vacuumed regularly using a soft brush attachment. If a stain or spill occurs, it’s important to have the tapestry professionally cleaned to avoid damaging the fabric.

Saint Matthew tapestries can be incorporated into various decorating styles, such as traditional, bohemian, or even modern. Consider pairing a tapestry with other elements that complement its style, such as antique furniture or woven textiles.

Overall, a Saint Matthew tapestry can be a beautiful and meaningful addition to any home decor. With proper care and display, it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Types of Saint Matthew Tapestries

Saint Matthew tapestries come in various types, including woven, printed, and hand-painted. Woven tapestries are made using traditional weaving techniques, which involve interlacing threads of different colors to create a design.

Printed tapestries are created using a printing process, where the design is printed onto the fabric. Hand-painted tapestries are created by skilled artists who paint the design directly onto the fabric using special paints. Each type of tapestry has its own unique look and feel, and the choice of which type to buy depends on personal preference and budget.

Historical Significance

Saint Matthew tapestries have a rich historical significance, dating back to the medieval period. In the 14th and 15th centuries, tapestries were often used as a form of storytelling and were used to depict biblical scenes, including those of Saint Matthew.

Many of these tapestries were created for religious institutions, such as churches and monasteries, and were used to educate and inspire the faithful. Today, Saint Matthew tapestries continue to be valued for their historical significance, as well as their artistic and decorative value.

Significance of Saint Matthew as a Patron Saint

Saint Matthew is recognized as the patron saint of accountants, bankers, and tax collectors due to his profession as a tax collector before he became one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus called upon Matthew to become his disciple, and Matthew immediately left his tax collector’s booth to follow Jesus. Saint Matthew is also known for his authorship of the first Gospel of the New Testament, which contains the teachings of Jesus and the story of his life.

In the Catholic Church, Saint Matthew’s feast day is celebrated on September 21st, and his feast day is an important occasion for Catholics around the world. Saint Matthew is also recognized by other Christian denominations, including the Anglican Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The making of Saint Matthew Tapestries

Saint Matthew tapestries are intricate works of art that require skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail. The process of making a tapestry begins with the creation of a cartoon, or a full-scale drawing of the design. This drawing is then traced onto a sheet of paper or parchment, which is perforated with tiny holes along the lines of the drawing.

Next, the paper is placed on top of the warp threads, which are stretched vertically on a loom. The artisan then uses a pounce bag filled with charcoal powder to dust the surface of the paper, causing the charcoal to pass through the holes and onto the threads below.

Making your Home Chapel

Build your Home Chapel with a beautiful Saint Matthew Tapestry

Once the design is transferred to the threads, the artisan begins the process of weaving the tapestry. This involves interlacing weft threads of different colors and textures over and under the warp threads, following the lines of the design. As the tapestry grows, it is wound around the loom and supported by wooden beam rollers at the top and bottom.

The weaving process can take months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity of the design and the size of the tapestry. Once the weaving is finished, the tapestry is removed from the loom and undergoes a process of trimming, washing, and stretching to achieve its final form.

The process of weaving a tapestry is time-consuming and requires great skill and patience. A single tapestry can take months or even years to complete, depending on its size and complexity. However, the result is a stunning work of art that captures the beauty and symbolism of Saint Matthew’s life and teachings.


Saint Matthew tapestries are highly prized works of art, and many collectors seek out these pieces for their beauty and historical significance. Some of the most notable Saint Matthew tapestries are held in museum collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Collectors should be aware of the potential for fraud when purchasing Saint Matthew tapestries. Some unscrupulous sellers may attempt to pass off reproductions or fakes as authentic antique pieces. To avoid this, it’s important to purchase from reputable dealers or auction houses and to have any potential purchases authenticated by a tapestry expert.

Religious and Cultural Context

The symbolism in Saint Matthew tapestries is rich and varied, reflecting the religious and cultural context in which they were created. In addition to the quill and scroll that represent Saint Matthew’s authorship of the Gospel, other common symbols include:

The Winged Man: This symbolizes the human nature of Christ, as well as the divine inspiration that guided Saint Matthew’s writing.

The Lion: This symbolizes the strength and power of Christ, as well as the majesty of his kingship.

The Serpent: This symbolizes temptation and sin, and serves as a reminder of the need for repentance and redemption.

The Angel: This symbolizes divine guidance and protection, and often appears alongside Saint Matthew or other figures in the tapestry.

The use of color is also an important aspect of symbolism in Saint Matthew’s tapestries. Gold is often used to represent divine light and glory, while blue symbolizes heaven and the divine. Red represents the passion and sacrifice of Christ, while green symbolizes nature and the life-giving power of God.

Saint Matthew with Angel on Ivory fabric


While Saint Matthew tapestries have a rich historical significance, they are also a vibrant and evolving art form that continues to inspire contemporary artists and designers. Many modern tapestries draw on the traditional techniques and symbolism of the past while incorporating new materials, technologies, and themes.

Contemporary Saint Matthew tapestries may use a wide range of materials, including natural fibers like wool and silk, as well as synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. They may also incorporate digital printing, embroidery, or other techniques to create complex and layered designs.

The themes and motifs of contemporary Saint Matthew tapestries are also diverse, reflecting the changing cultural and religious landscape of the modern world. Some contemporary tapestries may explore social or political issues, while others may focus on personal or spiritual themes.

Overall, contemporary Saint Matthew tapestries demonstrate the enduring power and relevance of this ancient art form, and its ability to speak to the human experience across time and culture.


In conclusion, Saint Matthew tapestries are rich in history, symbolism, and artistic value. These tapestries offer a glimpse into the life and teachings of Saint Matthew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the patron saint of accountants, bankers, and tax collectors. Whether used as decorative pieces in the home or collected as works of art, Saint Matthew tapestries are an enduring symbol of faith, beauty, and craftsmanship.

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