Thursday, April 30, 2009

Opus Anglicanum Emproidey

Term Opus Anglicanum used in medieval continental inventories to describe English embroidery. It was famous for its fine gold work and the use of techniques of underside couching and split stitch. This embroidery pattern was used for both ecclesiastical and secular textiles, although very few samples of this type of embroidery have survived. English embroiderers are famous for used of specific techniques while stitching the face and hair. To complete the head they would use two different colors to denote natural curl. Another characteristic of Opus Anglicanum was the general liveliness of expression and pose in the figure modeling of features and the use of split stitches worked spirally, for example, to suggest rounded cheeks and black eyes. Minutely observed birds and animals, clearly based on contemporary animal drawings, figured largely in the decorative schemes. This Embroidery pattern forms the balance between silver-gilt metalwork, stained glass, sculpture and architecture. Because of the use of expensive material used in the embroidered textiles the article became something of a status symbol for royalty and religious leaders. In 1317, Queen Isabella, wife of Edward III, paid 100 marks which becomes £40,000 of today to “Rose, the wife of John de Bureford, citizen and merchant of London, for an embroidered cope for the choir, lately purchased from her to make a present to the Lord High Pontiff from the Queen.”

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