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Maria of Tver's Veronica's Veil Embroidery

Reputedly the oldest extant example of Russian ecclesiastical embroidery is the so-called veil or shroud of Grand Princess Maria of Tver, from c. AD 1400.

It is now housed in the State Historical Museum, Moscow, and portrays the legend of Veronica's Veil, the piece of cloth that was given to Jesus when he was taken to Golgotha to be crucified, and which retained the traces of Jesus's features. The embroidery is carried out in brightly coloured silk threads, on a pale yellow damask ground, which otherwise remained unworked, using a fine split stitch. An inscription worked to the left tells that the veil was embroidered by the order of Grand Princess Maria of Tver, wife of the Grand Prince Simeon. The production of the design, according to Tolmachoff, recalls contemporary Byzantine illustrations and Russian icons and frescoes.

Source: TOLMACHOFF, Eugenia. 'Ancient Russian ecclasiastical embroideries', Bulletin of the Needle and Bobbin Club, vol. 31, pp. 3-56, esp. pp. 9-12. Download here.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 15:37