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Collection of Old Russian Needlework

Shroud. The middle of 15th c. From Khutynsky Monastery

Right-sided and ornamental embroidery is a special and quite original division of the applied and jeweler's art of medieval Russia connected with the needs of Orthodox churches. The repertoire ranges from all types of shrouds and covers (plashchanitsa, pelena, vozdukh) to festive garments of the clergy - sakkosy, stoles, palitsy, mitres etc. Skilled artists turned foreign fabrics, gold, silver and silk thread, pearls and precious stones into real masterpieces. The Novgorod Museum is proud of its magnificent collection of Old Russian embroidery and needlework.

The major part of the collection contains articles made in Novgorodian workshops. They make it possible to trace the main stages in the development of Novgorod embroidery and to feel its artistic originality. The collection comprises rare objects of the pre-Mongolian period such as fabrics from the Derevianitsky burial mound, hand-decorations of Varlaam of Khutyn, pheloni (church apparel) of Anthony of Rome as well as a 14th-century Byzantine shroud from the burial place in St. Sophia Cathedral, which make it truly unique.

Especially valuable is a group of shrouds from the 15th century of Moscow and Novgorod origin, distinguished in variety, perfect quality and high artistic value. It comprises splendid examples of work coming from workshops of Euphrosinya Staritskaya and Irina Godunova (16th century), as well as "Stroganov" embroidery (17th century). The collection is well studied. Most of the works have been included in the catalogue and are available for visitors to view.

The collection is displayed at the exposition "Old Russian Right-Sided and Ornamental Embroidery and Needleworkquot; located in the Ioann building of the Novgorod Kremlin.

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