Monday, July 4, 2011

Goldwork in Bologna

Some of the best places to see needlework when you're traveling is in religious buildings. There are usually excellent examples of the best needlework as historically the Church had money to spend and the habit of conserving their embroideries well.

The Basilica of San Francesco in Bologna is no exception, when we walked into the 13th century building I was immediately struck by a stunning Goldwork altarcloth:

Besides couched gold threads there are also areas of raised plating to accent the turn-over parts of the leaves.

Jewels and other ornaments are worked right into this amazing piece.

Bobbin lace at the top made of gold thread and gold fringe at the bottom!

This altarcloth was a work of particular magnificence, utilizing many of the techniques and materials of Goldwork embroidery. It was so incredible and so well executed! If Goldwork interests you and you're in Bologna, don't miss the opportunity to study this piece!

There was also a lot of other needlework on display in the Basilica, like cutwork and needlelace but we'll look at those another time.


  1. Ma è straordinario! Di che epoca pensi che sia?

  2. I have done gold work on a smaller scale and can't imagine the skill and patience it must have taken to complete those altar pieces! Thank you so much for introducing us to these--they are incredible....

  3. Aracne, non saprei! Non ho visto nessuno che avrei potuto chiedere.