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Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim

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Opus Anglicanum (Chasuble)

Date:
late 15th century
Culture:
British
Medium:
Silk and metallic threads on linen; appliqué on silk velvet foundation with silk embroidery and silver-gilt shot
Dimensions:
28 3/4 x 14 3/16 in. (73 x 36 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Embroidered
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.432
  • Description

    This fragment of "opus anglicanum" ("English work," as it was called in medieval inventories) is remarkable for the richness of its design and its superb state of preservation. The decoration consists of two cherubim, each atop a wheel from which rays of light emanate; four fleurs-de-lis; and four thistles in three different designs, each motif distributed along a vertical axis. These elements, all embroidered in vibrantly colored silk and silver-gilt threads, are appliquéd onto the red velvet foundation, on which the scrolls and other designs—accented with attached minute silver-gilt rings or shot—are embroidered directly. The lay of the velvet, the vertical warp and design, and the outline of the fragment indicate that it formed the lower-right quadrant of a chasuble, worn by a priest during the celebration of Mass.

    Please note that this object is seen on a rotating basis, due to conservation requirements.

  • Provenance

    D. Constable-Maxwell , London ; [ Mayorcas, Ltd. , London (sold 1982)]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
466096

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