Setting the Scene: European Painted Cloths from the Fourteenth to the Twenty-First Century

Nicola Costaras, Christina Young (eds)

UK Price: £39.50 US Price: $85.00

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ISBN: 9781904982906
Binding: Paperback
Dimensions: 297 x 210 mm
Pages: 122

The potential for large sizes, portability and versatility for religious objects including banners, hangings, altarpieces and palls was the impetus for the emergence of fabrics as a painting support in Western art in the Middle Ages. The functionality of the works explains the survival of relatively few examples and although painted cloths were the most common form of interior decoration for centuries, they have received less attention from art historians and historians in part due to this poor survival rate.

While painted cloths were once commissioned for court functions, part of an elaborate display of royal power and magnificence, the same methods and materials continued to be used for scenic cloths.

The papers in this volume explore the use of painted cloths in religious ceremony, pageantry, domestic interiors and scenic art, focusing on their change of context and significance from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century and examining their different function, materials and method of creation.

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The book is simple, well presented and interesting and helps to establish painted cloths as more than ephemeral objects. The diverse set of essays highlight the longevity and value expected of painted cloths despite their rarity. The book presents the current practice of using paint media and textile substrates, underlining the fact that painted textiles will continue to be part of current and future society.
ICON News - March 2014