Hongerdoek

The National Museum Twenthe, the Netherlands, houses a remarkable cloth with the representation of the crucifixion. It measures 300 x 300 cm, and was made of embroidered net lace. It dates to AD 1624. 

Such cloths were used to hide the main altar of a catholic church during Lent, the forty-six days before Easter in the religious calendar. In Dutch it is called a Hongerdoek, 'Hunger Cloth', or Vastenvelum ('Fasting Veil'), referring to the time of frugality.

Curatorial information tells that these cloths separated the altar from the space reserved for the congregation. The tradition of hanging up such a cloth dates back to the medieval period, and went out of fashion in the eighteenth century.

The text reads: MARIA . G. GAFEIN . ZV . LIMBVRCH : VND . BRVNCKHORST . FRAWE . ZV MEILENDVNCK . DRACHENFELS : MEIDERICH VND . RVLANT . FREV LEIN . ZV . STIRVMB . WIS . VND . BOR CKELOH . âo : DNI . M . DC . XXIIII 

Rijksmuseum Twenthe, digital catalogue.

Willem Vogelsang

Last modified on Monday, 01 January 2018 14:22