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Altarpiece of the Virgin and Child

A work made of linen plain weave ground appliquéd with linen and silk plain weaves and silk velvet; embroidered with silk floss and creped threads, gilt- and-silvered-metal-strip-wrapped silk threads, seed pearls and metal spangles.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of linen plain weave ground appliquéd with linen and silk plain weaves and silk velvet; embroidered with silk floss and creped threads, gilt- and-silvered-metal-strip-wrapped silk threads, seed pearls and metal spangles.

Date:

1460/70

Artist:

Spain, El Burgo de Osma

About this artwork

The only surviving embroidered altarpiece from Spain, this sumptuous work re-creates the characteristic elements of a painted retable from the Spanish kingdom of Castile. They include the base, or banco, with the Resurrection at its center, and a cult image of the enthroned Virgin and Child crowned by a small scene of the Crucifixion. In the wide fame, angels’ heads alternate with the owner’s arms, mimicking the dust guard or guardapolvos typical of painted altarpieces. Pedro de Montoya, the owner, was the active and worldly bishop of the diocese of Osma; he no doubt appreciated both the portability and rich surface offered by the embroidery.

The Abegg-Stiftung, a private foundation in Riggisberg, Switzerland, generously undertook the altarpiece’s conservation as a gift in 2016.

Status

On View, Gallery 237

Department

Textiles

Title

Altarpiece of the Virgin and Child

Origin

Spain

Date

Made 1460–1470

Medium

Linen plain weave ground appliquéd with linen and silk plain weaves and silk velvet; embroidered with silk floss and creped threads, gilt- and-silvered-metal-strip-wrapped silk threads, seed pearls and metal spangles

Inscriptions

Inscriptions: upper: "O Homo Recordare Quia Pro Te ISH Hec Tormenta Pasvs Est" (Remeber, O Man, that Christ suffered these pains for Thee) lower (possibly): "Resvrexit Dominvs Ivstvs Vere et Aparivit Simoni" (The Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared to Simon) Bishops coat of arms

Dimensions

Retable (a): 167 × 203.5 cm (65 3/4 × 80 1/8 in.) Altar Frontal (b): 89.2 × 211.8 cm (35 1/8 × 83 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Chauncey McCormick and Mrs. Richard Ely Danielson

Reference Number

1927.1779a-b

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/41449/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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