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The royal (Tyrian) purple dyed background fabric is not completely covered in goldwork, as is the case with many epitrachelia of this era, but rather shows through the other precious materials, creating a rich chromatic composition. The vestment piece is a continuous band, decorated with discs, within which eighteen scenes of the Christological cycle are portrayed, while the scene of the hospitality of Abraham is depicted on the back of the neck. The intricate decorative patterns, in part borrowed from eastern art, and in part inspired by cryptic symbolism (the double-headed eagle) are typical of the embroidery art of the Palaeologan era, as well as that of the workshops of Moldavia and Wallachia that subsequently kept alive the Byzantine tradition. The scenes are bordered with colorful silk, a material that is also used on the faces, fabric folds, and other details. Gold metal thread is used, as well as silver, though to a lesser extent. On the edge of the last decorative disc we find the monogram of the name of its owner, priest-monk Matthew. This piece is a fine specimen of the art of gold embroidery, exhibiting excellent iconographic articulation, intricate ornamentation, and well-balanced chromatic compositions.

Fifteenth century
141 X 25 cm
Constantinople workshop