Flagellation Scene

Medieval German embroidered panel with a flagellation scene. Medieval German embroidered panel with a flagellation scene. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 64.27.21. Bequest of Charles F. Iklé, 1963;

A fourteenth century embroidered panel from Lower Saxony, in what is now Germany, depicts a haloed figure, perhaps representing Christ or a saint. He is tied to a pole and is being beaten with a whip and club by two men wearing striped garments and parti-coloured hoses and shoes. There is a cup-like object (possibly the top of the column) above the haloed figure, and two birds.

The panel is made of linen cloth and decorated with multi-coloured woollen threads. It is 33.5 x 27.5 cm in size and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (USA). It is one of a number of surviving medieval embroideries that are presumed to have been made in Catholic convents in this part of Germany.

During this period, several cloisters were known for the whitework embroidery (opus teutonicum). These cloisters include that of Kloster Lüne (near the German city of Lüneburg).


  • SCHÜTTE, Marie (1927). Gestickte Bildteppiche und Decken des Mittelalters: Volume 1, Die Klöster Wienhausen und Lüne das Lüneburgische Museum. Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, figs. 2-3, 11, XIV.
  • YOUNG, Bonnie (February 1970). 'Needlework by nuns: A medieval religious embroidery,' The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 6. pp. 264-65, fig. 3.

Metropolitan Museum of Art online catalogue (retrieved 8th July 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2017 19:14