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Creator Nationality: European; British; English
Creator Name-CRT: English
Title: Opus Anglicanum
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1330
Creation End Date: 1350
Creation Date: 1330-50
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Textiles-Costumes-Ecclesiastic
Materials and Techniques: Silk and metal thread on velvet; pearls
Dimensions: W. 30 in. (76.2 cm), L. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 27.162.1
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1927
'About the same time , my Lord Pope, having noticed that the ecclesiastical ornaments of certain English priests, such as choral copes and mitres, were embroidered in gold thread after a most desirable fashion, asked whence came this work? From England, they told him. Then exclaimed the pope, 'England is for us surely a garden of delights, truly an inexhaustible well.'' Thus the chronicler Matthew of Paris describes the enthusiasm of Innocent IV (1243-54) for vestments he saw in England. By the end of the thirteenth century, the Vatican had acquired more than one hundred such examples of 'opus anglicanum' (English work). This example is remarkable for the rich texture of the gold threads and for the detailing of the faces. Along with scenes of the Annunciation to the Virgin, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Coronation of the Virgin are images of saints, among them English kings. The framing of the elongated figures under Gothic canopies as delicate as spun sugar is reminiscent of fourteenth-century English manuscript illumination and of the rare surviving examples of English Gothic panel painting. The chasuble, worn by the priest for the celebration of the Eucharist, has been cut down from a larger fabric, probably following a change in fashion in liturgical vestments. It was preserved in the private chapel of a Roman Catholic family in Yorkshire until it was sold at auction earlier in this century.
AMICA ID: MMA_.27.162.1
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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