The Milky Way, tapestry, 1898 by Frida Hansen. Wool, cotton, silk, transparent weaving technique. 260 x 330 cm. Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.
Frida Hansen (aka frederikke Bolette) was a Norwegian textile designer - 1855-1931. In the 1870's she studied painting, winning a prize at the World's Columbian Expo in Chicago in 1893 which enabled her to study textile design in Cologne in 1894 and in 1895 to study under Pierre Cecile Puvis de Chavannes in Paris. In 1900 she became a member of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts and was represented at the Paris World Expo by her famous tapestry The Milky Way. Hansen perfected the technique of transparent weaving, which lends her figures an almost ghost-like quality. She was influenced both by Japonisme and the Pre-Raphaelites, and stood squarely within the Art Nouveau tradition in her thematic material. (Gabriele Fahr-Becker)