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.
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Title:Chasuble (Opus Anglicanum)
Medium:Silver and silver-gilt thread and colored silks in underside couching, split stitch, laid-and-couched work, and raised work, with pearls on velvet
Dimensions:Overall (Chasuble): 51 x 30 in. (129.5 x 76.2 cm)
Credit Line:Fletcher Fund, 1927
Inscription: (Stitched, on the book held by right figure): ECCE AN / CILLA D / OMINI (Behold the handmaiden of the Lord [Luke 1:38])
(On the scroll held by the left figure): AVE MARIA GRACIA PLENA D[OMI]N[V]S TECVM (Hail Mary, full of grace, [the] Lord is with thee [Luke 1:28])
Lady Margaret Scroope (Lady Constable), Burton Constable, Yorkshire (1559); Lt. Col. Raleigh Chichester-Constable(sold 1927)
Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "Raiment for the Lord's Service: A Thousand Years of Western Vestments," November 15, 1975–January 18, 1976.
Victoria and Albert Museum. "Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery," October 1, 2016–February 5, 2017.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making The Met, 1870–2020," August 29, 2020–January 3, 2021.
Christie, A.G.I. "An Unknown English Medieval Chasuble." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 51, no. 297 (December 1927). pp. 285–92, pls. I–II.
Catalogue of Old English Furniture: Objects of Art and Porcelain: The Property of Lt.-Col. Raleigh Chichester-Constable and Others. London: Christie's, London, July 19, 1927. no. 37, p. 8, ill. facing pp. 8–9.
Mannucci, Giovanni Battista Monsignor. "Una casula di "Opus Anglicanum" affine al piviale di Pio II del Museo di Pienza." La Balzana, n.s., 1, no. 6 (November–December 1927). pp. 269–272, fig. 1.
Morris, Frances. "A Mediaeval Vestment." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 22, no. 12 (December 1927). pp. 300–310, ill. and discussed throughout.
von Falke, Otto, and August L. Mayer. Pantheon 1 (January–June 1928). p. V, ill. facing p. 80.
Kendrick, A. F. English Needlework. London: A. & C. Black, 1933. p. 27, pl. V. (incorrectly conflated with the Butler-Bowden Cope in text).
Christie, A.G.I. English Mediaeval Embroidery: a brief survey of English embroidery dating from the beginning of the 10th century until the end of the 14th. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1938. no. 92, pp. 18–19, 25, 29–30, 172–75, pls. CXXXI–CXXXIV.
Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 128, ill. p. 138.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. p. 24, fig. 35.
Griffith, Beatrice Fox. Treasure Under Glass. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1963. pp. 49–51, 53, pl. XLII–XLIV.
Newton, Eric. "The Art of Embroidery." The Guardian (October 3, 1963). p. 14, ill.
Kendrick, A. F. English Needlework, edited by Patricia Wardle. 2nd ed. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1967. p. 24, pl. V.
Young, Bonnie. "Opus Anglicanum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 29, no. 7 (March 1971). pp. 291–98, ill. and discussed throughout.
Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 66, p. 224.
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. "Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 31, no. 2 (1972–1973). ill. back cover.
Mayer-Thurman, Christa C., ed. Raiment for the Lord's Service: A Thousand Years of Western Vestments. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1975. no. 11, pp. 76–78, ill. cover.
Zarnecki, George. Art of the Medieval World: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, the Sacred Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975. p. 409, fig. 432.
Hibbard, Howard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. pp. 170, 179, fig. 331, 333.
Brubaker, Leslie, Joseph R. Strayer, and Scribner. "Opus Anglicanum." In Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Vol. 9. New York, 1982. ill. p. 255.
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. 108–9.
Staniland, Kay. Embroiderers. Medieval Craftsmen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991. pp. 14, 24, fig. 10, 18.
Wilckens, Leonie von. Die textilen Künste: von der Spätantike bis um 1500. Munich: C. H. Beck, 1991. p. 203, fig. 230.
Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Textiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 53, no. 3 (Winter 1995-1996). pp. 36–37, ill.
"La Via della Seta Arriva Fino a New York." La Nazione (December 1995). p. 23, ill.
Browne, Clare, Glyn Davies, and Michael A. Michael, ed. English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. no. 54, pp. 213, 216, 218–21, 236.
Michael, M. A. "The Artistic Context of Opus Anglicanum." In English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, edited by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies, and Michael A. Michael. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. p. 73, (as cat. no. 54).
Monnas, Lisa. "The Making of Medieval Embroidery." In English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, edited by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies, and Michael A. Michael. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. pp. 9, 10, (as cat. no. 54).
Morgan, Nigel. "Embroidered Textiles in the Service of the Church." In English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, edited by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies, and Michael A. Michael. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. p. 30, (as cat. no. 54).
Wetter, Evelin Dr. "England and Central Europe: Parallel Developments and Exchange After 1350." In English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, edited by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies, and Michael A. Michael. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. p. 101, (as cat. no. 54).
Peck, Amelia, and Freyda Spira. "Art for All." In Making the Met, 1870-2020, edited by Andrea Bayer. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2020. pp. 156, 158, fig. 50.
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