Antependium with Three Bishops (Iceland)

Fragment of antependium from Iceland, 15th to 16th century. Fragment of antependium from Iceland, 15th to 16th century.

The National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik houses an antependium that dates to the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. It is embroidered with laidwork and couching (locally known as refilsaumur). The ground material is linen, most of the embroidery threads are of wool; some gilt thread was used to outline certain outlines. Almost all of the antependdium is covered with embroidery.

This religious cloth, used to cover an altar, derives from the cathedral of Hólar. It measures 182.5 x 99 cm. The inscription surrounding the main designs tells that the embroidery represents three Icelandic bishops, Gudmundur Arason (1160-1237), Jón Ögmundsson (1052-1121) and Thórlákur Thórhallsson (1133-1193).

Holár church was also the home of the so-called Holár vestments (opus anglicanum).

See also the contemporary antependium with the symbols of the four evangelists, now in the National Museum Twenthe, click here.

Source: GUDJONSSON, Elsa E. (1947). 'Traditional Icelandic embroidery', Bulletin of the Needle and Bobbin Club, Vol. 31, p. 8. Click here for downloading

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 25 October 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 29 October 2016 20:06