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Altar Frontal with the Life of the Virgin in Or Nué, c. 1500

Fragments of an altar frontal showing the Life of the Virgin, worked in 'or nué' work, Flemish or English, c. 1500. Fragments of an altar frontal showing the Life of the Virgin, worked in 'or nué' work, Flemish or English, c. 1500. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, acc. no. T-37-1991.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a fine example of Flemish or English or nué work, dating to about 1500. It consists of two fragments of what probably was an altar frontal. They measure 33 x 17.5 cm and 50 x 72 cm respectively.

The larger fragment shows the Visitation (Luke 1:39-56), which was the meeting between Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth. The second, smaller fragment shows part of the (preceding) Annunciation, when Mary was informed by the angel Gabriel that she was with child. The fragments are made of a linen ground material, embroidered with silver-gilt, silver, and silk threads. The threads are worked with surface couching and underside couching, satin and split stitch, and with laid and raised work and some padding. The figures and other elements of the embroidery were worked separately before being applied to the background.

Source: BROWNE, Clare, Glyn DAVIES, and M.A. MICHAEL (2016). English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, exhibition catalogue, London, Victoria and Albert Museum. London, Catalogue no. 81 (pp. 270-272).

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 15 February 2017).

WV

Last modified on Thursday, 11 May 2017 20:16