Thursday, March 1, 2012

Prayer embroidery design

Prayer

monks, flying from William the Conqueror's
approach, carried it to Lindisfarne for safety.
The shrine, while at Chester-le-Street, was
visited in the year 934 by King Athelstan,
who is recorded to have offered among other
things a stole and maniple. Canon Raine,
who records these facts,* concludes that the
stole and maniple are those which have been
so wonderfully preserved to us ; and as
Athelstan was stepson of Aelfflaeda, whose
name appears on the vestments, there is
every probability of such being the case.t The
embroideries are among the most precious
existing relics of Anglo-Saxon art. The
figures are represented frill-length, each raised
on a curious mound, and having a canopy
of foliage above. As might be expected, they
show a good deal of the Byzantine con-
ventionality which was then so prevalent.
The work is beautifully executed, and speaks
eloquently of the skill of the Anglo-Saxon
needlewomen, foreshadowing the wonderful
work which three centuries later was to
become so famous throughout Europe.

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