Silk and metallic threads on linen; appliqué on silk velvet foundation with silk embroidery and silver-gilt shot
28 3/4 x 14 3/16 in. (73 x 36 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1982
Not on view
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.
D. Constable-Maxwell, London ; [ Mayorcas, Ltd., London (sold 1982)]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1982-1983 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1983). p. 24.
Parker, Elizabeth C. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 23, no. 1 (1984). p. 71, fig. 10.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 245, p. 203.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 102, pp. 141, 198.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 147.