Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009

The Resurrection, from an Altar Frontal

The Resurrection, from an Altar Frontal


Silk, gold and cotton thread, linen; raised work, embroidery: split, stem, and couching stitches

Overall: 29.2 x 41.9 cm (11 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.); Mounted: 38.7 x 51.4 cm (15 1/4 x 20 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1929.904



This scene of the Resurrection, along with 11
additional embroideries of the life of Christ, may
have formed an altar frontal, a hanging decorating
the front of an altar. Originally, expensive gold
thread covered the background, but it was removed
and probably melted down for its monetary
value. The loss of the gold exposes a rarely seen
preparatory drawing on the linen ground created
by an unidentified painter. Now exposed, thick
cotton thread forms scrolling vines that, when
covered with radiant gold thread, would have
paralleled the effect of raised plaster decoration
in paintings. What does survive is of the highest
quality and refinement, including more than 20
brilliant shades of silk thread.

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