Today we will explore the post-medieval (16th and 17th century AD) paraments from the Regensburger Domschatz. The oldest piece, the hood of a cope, dates to the first half of the 16th century and was made in southern Germany. It is a very interesting piece as it consists of raised (stumpwork) embroidery. The scene depicts the last judgement.
Unfortunately, this piece is really badly displayed: in a dark corner, where two sheets of glass meet. Why do museum conservators hate us interested embroiderers so much?
This detailed picture shows many different stumpwork techniques. I particularly like the curliness of the figures' hair and the draping of their clothing. The background couching of the metal and silk threads is quite nice too. Did you note the kauri shells near Jesus' hand? Clearly, gold, silver and silk on its own where not deemed expensive enough!
The piece made me chuckle when I started to study it more closely. Although the post-medieval period saw a revival of the practice of post-mortem examination, the results were clearly not widely available... Jesus' six-pack is of the same anatomical strangeness as seen on other contemporary art forms such as paintings and statues. Lucky for Jesus that things would soon make a turn for the better in the Renaissance period.
The next piece I would like to show you is a chasuble from the first half of the 17th century. It consists of a silk silver moire with bands of heavy gold and silk (yellow) embroidery. The gold embroidery consists of many small floral motives. It probably sparkled lovely in the candle light, but up close it looks a little too much and chaotic. On the lower back, the heraldic shield of the counts of Lodron, an Italian noble family is displayed.
The last piece I am showing you today is a bursa from the second half of the 17th century. The bursa contains the corporale, a piece of fabric on which the Holy Communion is prepared.
The red taffeta bursa is densely covered in metal thread embroidery. The alternating use of plate and twist threads over padding in some of the leaves is an interesting idea.
With this magnificent bursa I leave you this week. I am planning two future posts on the Regensburger Domschatz as there was sooooo much to see. Stay tuned if you would like to see a huge altar cloth entirely stitched in tiny seed beads.
Jessica M. Grimm
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