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Woman in Profile (detail) embroidery design

Woman in Profile (detail)

HE year 1300 may be taken to
indicate the middle of a period
of very high artistic attain-
ment in England. The excel-
lence is no less marked in
embroidery than in other branches. During
this period English embroidery was, in fact,
at its best. Surviving examples are to be
found in our own country, and also in France,
Italy, and Spain, and it may be elsewhere.
From them we may judge for ourselves
whether the fame which they acquired in
their day was justified. It is easy to see
faults in them. The heads are dispropor-
tionately large, the eyes too staring, the
colouring is sometimes unnatural blue and
green, for example, being favourite colours for
the hair, and the perspective is weak. With
all this, there is a venerableness and dignity
in the figures, and a genuine religious spirit,
which later and more correctly designed work
does not always possess

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