Interthreaded Histories: Late medieval embroidery between England and Brabant

Interthreaded Histories: Late medieval embroidery between England and Brabant
1024 644 Sacha Zdanov
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Fondation Périer-D'Ieteren

Interthreaded Histories: Late medieval embroidery between England and Brabant

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La Fondation Périer-D’Ieteren a le plaisir de vous inviter à la présentation que donnera Flora Clark et qui marquera l’achèvement de ses recherches menées à l’Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique. Au cours de son séjour en Belgique, Flora a effectué une étude approfondie d’une des chapes brodées de l’église Saint-Léonard de Zoutleeuw, un joyau de l’art médiéval anglais. Elle partagera ses découvertes sur les techniques de broderie utilisées ainsi que sur l’iconographie de cette pièce liturgique qu’elle situera dans son contexte de production.


Late medieval English embroidery has long been overlooked in favour of the more technically intricate and narratively complex objects of the opus anglicanum. Unlike embroidery of this earlier period, embroidery workshops by 1500 within England had moved towards more standardised forms of production, employing a limited range of stock motifs and repetitive models in their creations.

Despite their neglect within the scholarship, the frequent presence of vestments in this later English style within Belgian collections suggests the market for this embroidery extended both domestically and abroad. This presentation will examine English embroidery in its European context through the lens of a cope from the collection of St Leonard’s in Zoutleeuw, which is currently undergoing analysis and conservation in the textile departments at KIK-IRPA.

Considering the material features of the cope complicates linear narratives of production, transmission, and patronage. What emerges is a picture of an object with a complicated history, composed of constituent parts produced in different contexts and subject to reassembly and revision over the course of its lifetime. Flora Clark recently completed her masters degree in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London, specialising in late medieval northern European art. Prior to this, she completed a BA in History at Wadham College, University of Oxford, writing her dissertation on diagrammatic representations of theological thought in late medieval English manuscripts. Her research centres on material and technical art histories with a specific interest in the relationships between different media. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Flemish Primitives in KIK-IRPA, her visit generously supported by the Fondation Périer-D’Ieteren.

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Date And Time

29-03-2023 – 10:30

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