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Embroidered Altar Frontal with Standing Saints
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Embroidered Altar Frontal with Standing Saints


Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description This tapestry frontal from the fourteenth century was made in Italy, but found its way to England, where it was owned by John Grandisson, bishop of Exeter (r. 1327-1369). Grandisson was an avid patron of the arts who had traveled widely in Europe, and he often imported works of art from continental Europe to England. His coat of arms was added to the panel in two places, to the garments of Saints Stephen and Lawrence (the second and fifth saints on the panel). By adding his heraldry to the garments of Stephen and Lawrence, both deacons, Bishop Grandisson associated himself with these revered servants of the Church. The cloth is made of linen cord wrapped in silver, and the vines surrounding the saints were embroidered to create a raised pattern, enhancing the reflective quality of the panel. It shows a parade of martyrs who would have probably flanked a central image of the Virgin, now lost. The references to the sacrifices of these saints would have called to mind the Eucharist, a rite celebrated in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
10/11/1973Examinationexamined for condition
Provenance John Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter (1292-1369); Bacri Antiquaire, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1973, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase in memory of Dorothy Miner with funds provided by the Laura F. Delano Fund, 1973

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Creator
Period
before 1369 (Medieval)
Medium
silk and silver thread on linen
(Textiles)
Accession Number
83.716
Measurements
Panel 1: 32 5/16 x 38 3/16 in. (82.07 x 97 cm); Panel 2: 29 15/16 x 36 1/4 in. (76.04 x 92.08 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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