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Embroidered panel

Embroidered panel

  • Place of origin:

    Venice (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1325 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk in metal thread and silks, lined with linen and silk velvet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Venetian embroidered devotional picture of a half-figure of Christ, incorporates design elements from various cultures and areas. There is a lotus from the Far East, another lotus and ornamental circles from Islamic traditions, and from Byzantium, the Christ in the style of a particular Byzantine dynasty, the Palaeologues. This panel may have been part of a burse, the bag used for holding linen cloths for the celebration of the Christian Mass.

Venice was one of the few place where craftspeople would combine such an eclectic mix and this attribution is reinforced by the use of a particular embroidery stitch, underside couching, which is generally found only in England and Venice after 1300. This stitch is produced by couching down a metal thread with linen or silk and pulling the couching thread through to the back of the work so that it does not show, leaving an effectively unbroken line of gold on the surface.

Physical description

Embroidered panel with the figure of Christ. Light green 1/3 twill silk damask woven with scroll forms and possibly bird. The embroidery is mainly in gold thread (silver-gilt strip wound S on S yellow silk), underside couched in pairs with a twill effect, and silks in shades of red, blue, brown, pink and white in split stitch. The panel is lined first with coarse Z-spun linen tabby, then with yellow-green silk velvet, and finally with coarse Z-spun linen tabby with an adhesive to stick it to the backboard of the frame.

Half-length figure of Christ, blessing, and with a book in his hand inscribed in Lombardic lettering 'EGO SVM LVX MVNDI'. On either side of the cross nimbus are circles, one is inscribed with 'IC' and the other with 'XC'. Below these are two larger circles with ornamented motifs. On all four sides is a border 1 inch wide (2.5 cms) of rinceaux bearing lotus flowers.

Place of Origin

Venice (made)


ca. 1325 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk in metal thread and silks, lined with linen and silk velvet

Marks and inscriptions

'EGO / SVM / LVX / MV / ND / I'
I am the light of the world
Inscribed in Latin in Lombardic lettering on the book held by Christ

'IC' and 'XC'
Inscribed on either side of the cross nimbus in circles


Height: 25.5 cm, Width: 23 cm, Height: 10 in, Width: 9 in

Descriptive line

Panel with figure of Chist in embroidered silk in metal thread and silks, Venice, ca. 1325


Silk; Silver-gilt thread; Silk thread


Woven; Embroidered


Christianity; Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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