Orphrey Band: The Tree of Jesse

Orphrey Band: The Tree of Jesse

c. 1350

Silk, gold and silver thread, linen; embroidery: split and couching stitches

Overall: 99.1 x 16.9 cm (39 x 6 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1949.503

Description

From the 12th to the 14th centuries in London, both men and women worked as professional embroiderers. Here, the Tree of Jesse, a favorite medieval theme illustrating the ancestry of Christ, appears as a grapevine with three ancestors--Achim, Ezechias, and Eliud--seated on tendrils. Their lively, angular postures are similar to the East Anglian School style in manuscript painting, revealing the close relationship between embroiderers and the painters who often provided embroidery designs.

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