RARE LARGE Seventeenth Century French Silk and Metal Embroidery Figural Panel Representing the Madonna and Christ Child

SOLD This is an astonishing hand worked religious embroidery panel, worked by a nun within a convent. It originates from the south of France and dates towards 1790.

During the 16th to mid 19th centuries noble ladies donated their castoff dresses to local convents. The garments were carefully taken apart and all materials were saved and reused to make religious textiles. Within this very fine example the artist has utilicomplicated artistic work utilese colored silk, silver and gold metallic threads.

The panel is tall, measuring 21 3/4". It presents a lovely representation of the Madonna and Child. Fine linen is used for the backing. The many, many silk threads which make up her beautiful blue robe can be viewed from the back. The embroidery style consists of both vertical and horizontal stitching. The gilt portion which represents her cape are pieces of salvaged gilt thread embroidery. Metal braid outlines the figures and gilt threads accent the figures and their clothing. The faces are especially lovely, fashioned from fine silk with very lovely embroidered facial features. The eyes of the Madonna express such emotion, the less important details were treated with the same exquisite delicateness : the ear, the strands of her hair are executed with such careful detail. The hands are of the same fine silk and are delicately portrayed, especially the tiny hands of the Christ Child. The

The panel is in amazing condition for it's age. The threads are worn as is expected with advanced age. The silk has frayed. The overall design is intact and in amazingly good condition. The bottom edge is frayed. The backing and back threads are in conserved amazingly considering the age. The gilt threads have frayed in places but are intact. The total measurements are 21 3/4" widest point at arms and edge of cape 9 1/2", the Madonna's face is 2" x 1 1/2", the Christ Child measures 6" long.

This is an astonishing work of devotion and love. The very skilled embroidery and the painterly detailing of the figures is incredible. It is a marvelous example of the exquisite and very sumptuous work fashioned by nuns in the seventeenth century.

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