The Dowry, Embroideries and Textiles From Constantinople and Pergamon in Asia Minor, the Sofianos Collection

 
9789606849428: The Dowry, Embroideries and Textiles From Constantinople and Pergamon in Asia Minor, the Sofianos Collection
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The art of embroidery is a very ancient art. With needle and stitches, with loom and threads, women revealed their sensitivity, cultivated their imagination, wove their dreams. Vast embroidered fields travelled from East to West, becoming links in a chain of art and communication. Richly-embroidered covers adorn beds, mirrors, chests, cushions and bolsters. Two-sided needlework, difficult but delightful in its execution, harks back to Byzantine times. Silver, pure gold and golden thread, combined with the many colours of dyed silk threads, shimmer like jewels. The stitches, magical words just to hear, become poems, become embroideries: rizovelonia (stem stitch), trypiti (buttonhole stitch), alysidoti (chain stitch), richti (whipstitch), chyti and travichti (for drawn-thread work), kophto (for cut-work), psathoti (basket stitch), perasti (darning stitch), ševrovelonia (two-sided stitch used on ševres), gazovelonia (double running stitch). Their magic suffuses the women's handiwork, composing surfaces of precious artistry, poetry and musicality, hymning an entire culture. Pergamon and Constantinople, Constantinople and Pergamon, the two places represented in the collection. Both also the places of origin of two people, Aristodemos and Myrsine, who joined their lives and who bequeathed to posterity this living treasure-chest of memory.

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