Christmas Craft: Frosted Lanterns

Lanterns are a classic way to brighten up your holiday decorating, but buying them in bulk can get pricey. You can get this same look using glass jars and simple crafting materials.

Materials

  • Glass jars
  • Self-adhesive stickers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Frosted glass spray paint
  • Double sided tape
  • 22 Gauge wire (about 32 inches per jar)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Protective gloves
  • Battery operated candles

Instructions

  1. Create a pattern on the jar using painter’s tape and stickers.
  2. Spray the jar lightly and evenly with frosted glass spray paint. Be sure to wear gloves and work outside in a well-ventilated area.
  3. When the spray is dry, use tweezers to carefully peel off the tape and stickers. Try not to touch or scrap the frosted area. Let the jar sit for an hour, then add the handle.
  4. Use needle nose pliers to cut a piece of 22 gauge wire. Wrap it around the neck of the jar once and twist it thoroughly into place. Take the excess wire and create a loop, twisting the end securely to the other side of the jar, creating the handle.
  5. Put a small square of double sided mounting tape on the bottom of a tea light and place on the bottom of your lantern. Use battery operated candles if you plan to place your lanterns near greenery or children and pets.

These sweet, simple lanterns will light your entry way, brighten your home, and provide a warm welcome for holiday visitors.  

Behind the Scenes: Fall Care for Biltmore’s Gardens & Grounds

As summer ends and fall beauty begins to blanket the estate, our dedicated garden crew is busy preparing the grounds for the change of season.

After Labor Day, crews are busy pulling all of the tropical plants. Elephant ears in the massive terra cotta pots lining the front of Biltmore House and other areas are stored for next summer.

Koi and lily pads in the Italian Garden pools

Once they’ve faded, lilies and lily pads are gathered from the Italian Garden pools to be composted. Many of our guests ask what happens to the koi in the pools, but they actually remain in the ponds and hibernate during the cooler months!

Dahlia bulbs in the Walled Garden’s Victorian border are lifted out of the ground to allow the soil to dry naturally. The bulbs are placed in a cool dry place to store over winter to be replanted in the spring.

Walled Garden crew member

The gorgeous second-round blooms in the Rose Garden are pruned in preparation for the International Rose Trials, September 22–23. The historic garden has hosted the event since 2011, providing breeders from all over the world a place to trial and display their roses.

And of course, the seemingly never-ending task of blowing and raking leaves across the estate will soon commence. There will be several leaf clean-ups throughout the season to minimize final efforts at autumn’s end. Along with some of the tropical plants, all raked leaves are composted and eventually become part of Biltmore soil.

West Facade of Biltmore House with fallen leaves

Don’t miss those autumn leaves and our fall gardens in all their glory. Book your stay at Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate® or The Inn on Biltmore Estate® today.

Lights, Camera, Biltmore: A Magnificent Movie Location!

Lights, camera, Biltmore! Since the golden age of filmmaking, Biltmore has starred as a majestic backdrop for some unforgettable movies.

Biltmore House and the French Broad River in Asheville, NC, make a perfect movie location
West view of Biltmore House above the French Broad River near Asheville, NC

Although the estate was created to provide a restful retreat from the outside world, sometimes the bright lights and top stars of film and television come calling when they require a setting like no other.

A magnificent movie location

The appeal as a movie location is obvious: the estate includes Biltmore House–a majestic French Renaissance-style chateau that can easily be seen as a castle–plus acres of formal gardens and miles of rolling hills and scenery, all conveniently located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.

Here are five of Biltmore’s most notable big screen appearances:

The Swan

In this classic 1956 drama, actress Grace Kelly portrays a princess attempting to secure an advantageous marriage that will secure the throne taken from her family during Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule.

Biltmore House appears extensively throughout the film as the exterior of Kelly’s palatial home with one particularly iconic scene taking place along the Lagoon and French Broad River.

Although it was not featured in the film, one of Biltmore’s most notable treasures is a game table and chess set once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Biltmore's Bass Pond Bridge, featured in The Last of the Mohicans, another movie shot at Biltmore.
Bass Pond Bridge, featured in The Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicans

Producers of this 1992 drama starring Daniel Day Lewis were searching for locations that resembled the old-growth forests of the Catskill Mountains as they might have appeared at the beginning of the 19th century.

Luckily for Hollywood, Biltmore’s elaborate grounds were planned by Frederick Law Olmsted–the father of American landscape architecture–nearly 100 years earlier and included forest land and mature trees suitable for the producers’ cinematic needs.

In addition to the sweeping fields and forests, the movie features a scene in which a carriage crosses the estate’s signature red brick Bass Pond bridge designed by Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt.

Last of the Mohicans movie trivia: when filming extended into the fall, the production crew used organic green paint in several locations to create the illusion of summer foliage.

Forrest Gump

With settings ranging from Greenbow, Alabama to the jungles of Vietnam, you may wonder how Biltmore was selected as a movie location in this beloved 1993 Tom Hanks classic.

During one scene where Forrest Gump is running across America, he was actually running along the road which leads to The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Antler Hill Village & Winery!

Richie Rich

In 1994, America’s Largest Home served as the sprawling estate of the world’s richest comic book family.

Richie Rich featured many of interior shots of Biltmore House, and some rooms were left largely unaltered during filming–even paintings of Vanderbilt family members were prominently featured.

Although the estate does not feature the Rich family’s signature dollar-sign topiaries on the lawn or a Mount Rushmore-inspired family portrait looming over the gardens, this delightful comedy remains a family favorite for all ages.

Antler Hill Barn, one of several movie locations at Biltmore
Antler Hill Barn was one of the filming locations for the movie Hannibal

Hannibal

In the chilling sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, an ensemble cast, including Oscar-winning actors Julianne Moore, Anthony Hopkins, and Gary Oldman, offered dramatic performances against the stunning backdrop of Biltmore.

Featuring the estate as the home of the reclusive Mason Verger, the thriller incorporated many different locations such as the arched Lodge Gate and the façade of Biltmore House, some of the grand rooms on the first floor, and several outlying buildings including Antler Hill Barn, which had not yet been restored at the time of filming.

Tracking, Polishing, Repairing: Behind the Scenes of Christmas at Biltmore

To say that decorating for Christmas at Biltmore is an enormous task would be an understatement. Of course, the amount of décor brought into the house is staggering, but have you ever wondered how exactly we make room for all of it?

Meg Schloemer of our collections team

That’s where Meg Schloemer of our collections team comes in. Meg is responsible for tracking every item moved in the house for the holidays. She was only about halfway through the process when we visited her, but we estimate her to have tracked more than 300 items by the end.

Some of the items are put into storage for the season. Others—like the Banquet Hall silverware set, for instance—are taken to our objects lab, where conservators preserve and repair pieces in the Biltmore collection.

“Biltmore House is a conservation anomaly,” explains objects conservator Renee Jolly. “Unlike traditional museums, our environment is not controlled and our displays are generally on-going, which can be tough on the collection.”

The Banquet Hall Silverware Set

As the Banquet Hall silverware set arrives in the objects lab, Renee first surveys the condition of each piece in the set, checking for discoloration and tarnishing. If you look closely at the salt cellar pictured below, you can see a small, darkened mark where the miniature spoon has scratched the protective lacquer coating and tarnished the dish.

As typical silver cleaners can contain damaging chemicals, Renee polishes the set with chalk, a basic calcium carbonate mixture, and cotton swabs.

The Candelabra from Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom

Renee is also in the process of repairing and treating a candelabra set from Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom.

A damaged decorative arm on one of the pieces is being repaired and reattached. The gold components of the pieces are cleaned—not polished, as that can actually remove the gold—with a gentle gold-specific solution.

The ceramic parts of the pieces are cleaned with human saliva. (Yes, you read that right.)

“The natural enzymes of saliva are nature’s gentle solution for breaking down solids without damaging the surface,” explains Renee. Artificial alternatives are available but don’t work as well, and commercial cleaners are often too concentrated and corrosive.

It seems that while there are some advancements in conservation methods, it is often best to keep it simple.

6 Biltmore Rooms Named After Artists

Vanderbilt was an avid print collector who purchased more than 1,400 prints in his lifetime. Not only did he have personal friendships with leading artists of the era, he even named some of the rooms in his home after artists where their work was on display. Below are just a few of the rooms inside Biltmore House with names inspired by artists and how guests can see these on their tour.

Claude Room

This room was named after one of George Vanderbilt’s favorite artists, the French painter Claude Lorrain. One of the masters of 17th-century landscape painting, Claude presented nature as harmonious, serene, and often majestic. The prints on this room’s walls are after Claude Lorrain’s paintings. (See it on the winter tour rotation.)

The striking wallpaper in the Claude Room, reproduced from the original, is the same pattern that is used in the Damask Room, but in a different color palette.
The striking wallpaper in the Claude Room, reproduced from the original, is the same pattern that is used in the Damask Room, but in a different color palette.

Earlom Room

This room was named for the English engraver Richard Earlom. Vanderbilt purchased most of the prints in this room and in his collection from H. Wunderlich and Company in New York. (See it on the Upstairs-Downstairs tour.)

Raphael Room

Highly detailed engravings after the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael Sanzio d’Urbino add interest to the room’s understated décor. (See it on the Upstairs-Downstairs tour.)

Morland Room

Named for the English painter George Morland, this bedroom attracts attention with exotic Indian-style fabrics. The bed draperies are exact reproductions of hand-painted originals that adorned the Italian villa where George and Edith Vanderbilt honeymooned in 1898. (See it on the summer tour rotation.)

Van Dyck Room

Decorated in the Colonial revival style of the late 19th century, this room features prints after paintings by the 17th-century artist Anthony Van Dyck. (See it on the summer tour rotation.)

Watson Room

This room was named for the engraver James Watson. A close-up of his 1769 mezzotint after a painting by Francis Cotesand is the top photo in this blog. Fun fact: This room is the only bedroom with twin beds. (See it on the summer tour rotation.)

Everything’s Coming Up Rosés!

Have you ever wondered how rosé wines are created? 

Known as rosé in French, rosado in Spanish, and rosato in Italian, rosé is one of the oldest styles of winemaking because—in its simplest form—it involves leaving crushed red grapes together with their skins for a certain amount of time. 

Rosés can range from palest pink to deep red, depending on the varietal and how long it stayed in contact with the skin.Rose wine being poured into a glass

3 main ways to create rosés:

• Saignée
  When a red varietal is crushed, the first juice is drawn off and aged separately as a rosé. This process results in very fine rosés and also serves to intensify the flavor of the original red varietal.
Maceration
  A red varietal is crushed and the skins are left in contact with the fruit for up to 24 hours, depending on the desired color and flavor of the final product. This is the most common production technique for rosés and produces excellent wines, including our Biltmore rosés.
Blending
   Red and white juices are blended to create a rosé. This process is used mainly for lower-quality wines, although some outstanding sparkling rosés are created in this manner.

Where did rosés originate?

The world’s earliest red wines were probably closer to rosé than modern red wines because it was not considered desirable to leave the grapes in contact with the skins for more than a day. 

Over time, Europe would become the primary producers of rosé wines, but that changed in the early 1950s as rosés were successfully introduced into American markets and emerging California wineries began creating their own versions.

By the 1970s, rosé was often referred to as “blush” wine in the U.S., and though wildly popular, the style gradually became associated with sweeter, less-desirable blended wines. Enthusiasm for rosé began to wane.

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc de Noir

Rosé renaissance

Today, rosé wines are enjoying a renaissance as winemakers and consumers explore a range of options from traditional dryer varietals such as Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah to semi-sweet offerings including White Zinfandel and sparkling Moscato versions.

Designed to be served chilled, modern rosés are excellent for sipping on their own and they also partner surprisingly well with eclectic fare such as spicy Asian cuisine and pizza.

Biltmore rosés

At Biltmore, we continue to explore new styles of rosés as our consumers’ palates evolve and new trends arise.

New for 2019, try our Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé. Pale salmon in color, it features a delightful aroma with notes of strawberry, watermelon, honey, and lime. Semi-sweet and refreshing with flavors of kiwi and honeydew, it pairs well with spicy sausage, blackened chicken, and black bean burgers. 

In addition, savor delicious options like our long-time favorite Biltmore Estate Zinfandel Blanc de Noir, which is vibrant and crisp with sweet tropical fruit aromas and delicate berry flavors, or our elegant and refreshing Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé with a subtle, fruit-forward bouquet followed by layers of delicate berry flavors.

For a sparkling wine as delicious as it is beautiful, try our coral-hued Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir crafted from Pinot Noir grapes in the traditional méthode champenoise

Poultry in Motion: Biltmore’s Feathered Friends

Chickens, turkeys, and other fowl have been strutting and clucking their way across the estate since its earliest days. Biltmore’s two original poultry sheds proved too limited, so in 1896, plans began for what would become the Poultry Yards, located up the hill from what’s now the Farm and Bike Barn.

Richard Howland Hunt, son of Richard Morris Hunt, designed the Poultry Yards, which included the Brooder House, plus the Chicken Tender’s House: the residence for the poultryman and his family. A variety of breeds were raised at Biltmore, including Brahmas, Cochins, Cornish game hens, Leghorns, Minorcas, Plymouth Rocks, and Wyandottes. In addition to chickens, ducks and drakes, Bronze turkey toms and hens, wild turkey, quail, squab, and pheasant were found on the estate. Photo courtesy of National Forests of North Carolina Historic Photographs, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 28804.

From the start, Biltmore Farms produced award-winning poultry used for eggs as well as meat. In May of 1897, an advertisement in the Asheville Citizen announced the sale of dressed Biltmore broilers at 30 cents each, table eggs at 15 cents a dozen, and “dated and extra selected” eggs at 25 cents a dozen. By the end of that same year, enough eggs were being produced to supply the Kenilworth Inn with eight to 15 dozen a day as well as provide for the needs of Biltmore House.

When the Vanderbilts were in residence and entertaining guests, demand for eggs skyrocketed. According to a June 8, 1896 memo, Biltmore House required nearly 30 dozen eggs a week. Poultry and eggs were served almost daily according to the 1904 Menu Book for Biltmore House. Luncheons and dinners often began with chicken broth or consommé. For second luncheon, eggs were served stuffed, creamed, and fried, and included in cutlets, omelets, timbales and croquettes. Chickens were prepared broiled, roasted, fricasseed, fried, creamed, braised, and in casseroles, potpies and mousse. Other poultry dishes included roast and barbequed duck, braised quail and squab, and roast partridge and goose. Leftover poultry frequently went into salads.

If the 1904 Menu Book is any indication, the poultry most frequently served in Biltmore House was turkey. The Vanderbilts ate roast turkey with cranberry sauce, roast Biltmore turkey, broiled spring turkey, roast wild turkey, turkey soup and croquettes, creamed turkey, chipped turkey and cold turkey in salad. In fact, they ate turkey in one form or another 35 times during one span of 14 weeks, or on average every three days. A recipe for turkey and cornbread dressing was said to be one of Mr. Vanderbilt’s favorite foods. 

The Poultry Farm closed down not long after Mr. Vanderbilt’s death in 1914, but the buildings continued to be used for other purposes. The original Chicken Tender’s House functioned as a residence until it burned in 1931. The Brooder House still stands behind the Inn on Biltmore Estate and can be seen on the Legacy of the Land tour.

Chicken remain a vital part of our farm-to-table program. In the past twelve months, Biltmore’s mostly brown egg-laying flocks (which include heirloom and historic Vanderbilt breeds) have produced 16,080 eggs.

All of Biltmore’s egg layers are free range and are part of our intensive grazing rotation. The eggs are laid, collected, handled and packaged here and never leave the estate. All eggs are processed and incubated in the historic Brooder House. Look for our mobile chicken coops in the fields near the Farm, one of the creative measures our farmers put in place to promote sustainable agriculture on the estate.

Fashionable Florals

Flowers are as much a part of a wedding celebration as the music or the cake. So when plans began for our Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film exhibition, our Floral Design team got right to work coming up with inspiring designs to set the tone for this delightful affair.

The exhibition includes costumes from 19 films, spanning hundreds of years and far-flung locations starting in 18th-century England and stretching into 1930s Germany. Using the costumes and the rooms where they’ll be located as a starting point, the designers began sketches.

The Entry Hall sets the tone for the exhibition with a dramatic four-tier floral cake under fabric swags lit from the inside with party lights. A floral chandelier in shades of pink dripping with crystal pendants hangs above it. Molly Reed created the design, which includes the 6.5 x 3’-cake form (seen below, in progress) decorated with 450 roses and 150 lilies, both silk and fresh, surrounded by fresh arrangements.

In the Banquet Hall, costumes from the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice called for a loose, English country garden look. A flower dangles from each of the three “love knots” in the ribbons hanging from the room’s two chandeliers, a nod to Regency and Victorian tradition. The three knots represent the three words “I love you,” says Cristy Leonard who designed the room’s florals. Cornelia Vanderbilt had these knots in her bouquet at her 1924 wedding to the Honorable John F.A. Cecil.

In the Music Room, designer Kyla Dana came up with the lush look for the florals accompanying the costumes from the 1988 film The Deceivers, set in early 19th-century British India. Dana used the film’s setting as inspiration for her lush design, featuring silk marigolds—a traditional Indian wedding flower—and purple bougainvillea.

A wedding dress worn by Helena Bonham-Carter in the 1994 film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is on display in the Library. The theme here is silk roses, mostly in deep red with touches of hot pink. Eight heart-shaped medallions will be affixed to the balcony railings, referencing not only the film’s wedding but one of the more dramatic scenes. In total, there will be around 700 roses in the room.

But the Fashionable Romance exhibition extends beyond Biltmore House. The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village has been transformed into a stylish gallery featuring stories and objects from Vanderbilt family weddings. While there are no photos of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s wedding, photos allowed designers to re-create both Cornelia Vanderbilt’s dress and bouquet. Designer Lucinda Ledford recreated the stephanotis bouquet held by Mary Lee Ryan at her wedding to Cornelia’s son William A.V. Cecil in 1957, seen below in progress.

Biltmore Floral Department manager Cathy Barnhardt estimates that there will be approximately 3,200 fresh and faux roses in the planned displays throughout the exhibition, with around 1,500 fresh flowers being replaced each week. As you walk through the exhibit, be sure to pay attention to the lovingly designed florals, which add charm and beauty to the exquisite costume displays.

A transatlantic collaboration: Recreating a Vanderbilt family heirloom

Biltmore’s Curator of Interpretation Leslie Klingner was anticipating the arrival of a special delivery when we met recently to talk with her about a unique collaboration that would result in the re-creation of a Vanderbilt family heirloom. 

Due in the very next day from England was the result of that collaboration: a replica of the wedding gown and veil Cornelia Vanderbilt wore in her 1924 wedding to John Frances Amherst Cecil. The gown is part of our new exhibition opening on Feb. 12, “Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film.”

Because the new exhibition contains a section devoted to wedding stories about the Vanderbilt and Cecil families, Leslie and team decided to have the ensemble recreated for our guests to enjoy. The original gown and veil are not in Biltmore’s archival collection, yet many photographs exist of Cornelia in the dress including one of her standing on the Grand Staircase in Biltmore House.

Leslie and members of Biltmore’s Museum Services Team joined forces with John Bright and his team at London-based Cosprop, Ltd., a respected costumier to film, television and theater. Biltmore has enjoyed a friendship with Bright and his company since working together on bringing their costumes from “Downton Abbey” to Biltmore for an exhibition in 2015. And of course, Bright’s team is responsible for creating the gorgeous film costumes to be featured in “Fashionable Romance.”

Leslie Klingner studies a lace sample being considered for the reconstruction of Cornelia Vanderbilt's wedding dress.

Leslie, staff archivist Jill Hawkins, and curator Lori Garst set about scouring the archives for every photo of Cornelia in her wedding gown they could find. They gathered newspaper clippings about the wedding and descriptions of her dress. They made copies of the material, packed it all up and sent it overseas to Bright. (Back in 1924, news of Cornelia Vanderbilt’s wedding was akin to coverage of what a modern-day celebrity receives when getting married.)

With all of that information, Bright’s team would create a straight satin foundation with long sleeves and a shortened hemline; and an antique lace stole that forms the lace outer layer of the dress. They would also make Cornelia’s dramatic voluminous veil and its lengthy train.

“The silhouette of the dress was very elegant and its unique structure was more common in the 1920s. It’s modern, and closely cut with an undersheath made from very luxe materials. The draping and length were very much in keeping with the changing fashion of the Jazz Age,” Leslie said.

Before any sewing took place, the teams spent many hours planning by conference call. Fabric and lace samples traveled between Asheville and London. In all, the planning process took one year. Actual construction of the dress took a five-person team at Cosprop seven weeks.

Lessons in ingenuity


That an ocean was between the two teams was but a small technicality in recreating Cornelia’s dress. Issues more challenging presented themselves along the way:

  • Cornelia’s exact measurements were unknown. Leslie and team employed their research skills and came up with a composite for Bright. They knew she was tall, and her 1922 passport application confirmed that she was about 5 feet 10 inches tall. For the remaining crucial details, Biltmore Conservator Anne Battram measured one of the few pieces of Cornelia’s clothing in the archives: her French Renaissance page costume she wore during her 21st birthday masquerade party in 1921.
  • Textiles used in the original dress are no longer made. Despite the absence of the same satin weave fabric used for the sheath of the dress, Bright knew where he could find the closest thing that would match the lustrous sheen of Cornelia’s gown. “He did a fabulous job,” Leslie says.
  • The silk tulle required to create the veil’s volume is no longer available in the original width. Bright is an Oscar-winning costumer designer, so his expertise and experience informed his ability to take the widest silk tulle available and work with it to create the right proportions.
  • The silk tulle is ethereal and light making it subject to wilting in humid conditions. To ensure the veil remains as airy and voluminous as it was on Cornelia’s wedding day for the duration of the exhibition, Bright added a layer of nylon tulle underneath to help maintain the body of the fabric.

The dress indeed arrived the day after our talk with Leslie. We checked back in with her about the results.

“We are absolutely ecstatic with the outcome,” says Leslie. “This was a complex project, particularly since many of materials were antique originally and impossible to source, so we knew we would never be able to create a perfect facsimile. But, John Bright and Cosprop created an astounding likeness of the gown – down to the orange blossoms on Cornelia’s veil.”  

You can see the dress for yourself when “Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film” opens Feb. 12.

Featured image: John Bright and his team at Cosprop, Ltd. in London worked from archival photography and newspaper accounts of Cornelia Vanderbilt’s 1924 wedding to John F.A. Cecil to replicate her gown for Biltmore’s new exhibition.

Also featured: Biltmore’s Leslie Klingner compares lace and silk fabric samples sent to her in Asheville, N.C., from Bright in London. 

Eternal Virtue: The Triumph of Faith in the Tapestry Gallery

The tapestries you see in the Tapestry Gallery are part of a set referred to as The Triumph of the Seven Virtues, created in Flanders (now part of Belgium) between 1525-1535. Woven from wool and silk, these works were intended to show how the seven virtues−faith, prudence, charity, chastity, temperance, fortitude and justice−would always prevail over vice. No one knows exactly who commissioned the tapestries or where they hung, but it’s speculated that they would have been displayed in a European palace.

Multiple tapestries were created, but very few of them survived through the centuries, and there are no examples of the Triumph of Temperance still in existence. Examples of the remaining tapestries are housed in just ten collections across the world, including the Cluny Museum in Paris, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. There are three in Biltmore’s collection, arranged from left to right in the Tapestry Galley: The Triumph of Prudence, The Triumph of Faith, and The Triumph of Charity.

The virtues are illustrated through biblical stories and symbols that would have been familiar to educated people in sixteenth-century Europe. But to twenty-first-century eyes, the meaning of the figures in the tapestry can be a bit mysterious. Here’s what we know about The Triumph of Faith, the tapestry in the center.

The Latin inscription on the top of the tapestry reads: Holy faith trusts in the divine work and devotes herself wholly to God with dutiful reverence.

The virtue of Faith is depicted as a woman holding a church, chalice and cross.  

Below Faith are a few curious figures. The ‘winged man’ represents the human aspect of Christ, riding on a lion, representing both the apostle Mark and the resurrection. The ox represents the sacramental nature of Christ. The Eagle represents the apostle John. All four of these symbols were said to have been seen as guardians of the throne of God by the prophet Ezekiel.

In the upper left-hand corner of the tapestry, you can see a depiction of the story of Jacob’s ladder: an angel climbing into heaven. The ‘chariot of fire’ next to it represents the prophet Elijah. The blindfolded woman on the pedestal represents “old law.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the tapestry is the figure of James the Greater, who in medieval iconography was often depicted as an avenging knight riding into battle.