Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chasuble (Opus Anglicanum)

ca. 1330–50
Silver and silver-gilt thread and colored silks in underside couching, split stitch, laid-and-couched work, and raised work, with pearls on velvet
Overall (Chasuble): 51 x 30 in. (129.5 x 76.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
Not on view
Embroidery produced in England from the thirteenth through the fifteenth century was so celebrated that it was known simply as opus anglicanum (English work). This chasuble is one of the finest surviving examples. Depicted on the front are Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, and James. On the back are the Coronation of the Virgin, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Annunciation as well as inscriptions. This chasuble, a sleeveless mantle worn by the priest during Mass, was trimmed down in the sixteenth century to conform to current fashion. As a result, the heads of Saints John the Evangelist and John the Baptist were, alas, cut away.
Lady Margaret Scroope (Lady Constable), Burton Constable, Yorkshire (1559); Lt. Col. Raleigh Chichester-Constable(sold 1927)
Christie, Grace. "An Unknown English Medieval Chasuble." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 51, no. 297 (December 1927). pp. 285–92, pls. I–II.

Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 138.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. fig. 35.

Griffith, Beatrice Fox. Treasure Under Glass. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1963. pp. 51, 53, pl. XLIII-XLIV.

Young, Bonnie. "Opus Anglicanum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 29, no. 7 (March 1971). pp. 291–98, fig. 1–4, 13.

Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 66, p. 224, fig. 66.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. "Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 31, no. 2 (1972–1973). back cover.

Zarnecki, George. Art of the Medieval World: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, the Sacred Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975. p. 409, fig. 432.

Binski, Paul, and Jonathan J. G. Alexander, ed. Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200-1400. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1987. no. 577, p. 457.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 102, pp. 108-109.

Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Textiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 53, no. 3 (Winter 1995-1996).

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