Silk Embroidered Linen Panel Depicting Selected Virtues
Portuguese, 17th century
Silk Embroidered Linen Panel

An unusual example of Portuguese domestic embroidery, this pillow sham is decorated with religious imagery befitting a woman’s expression of piety and industriousness through needlework. Worked in a defined range of stitches exclusively in pale-colored silk to match the unbleached linen ground, the embroidered motifs effectively combine varied textures and patterns—an extra challenge for a monochromatic palette. Seen here are allegories representing four of the Seven Virtues: CARIDADE (Charity); FORTAIECA (Fortitude); TENPERANCA (Temperance); and ESPERACA (Hope). The restricted color scheme and religious imagery suggest a link with contemporary tussar silk Indo-Portuguese embroideries. A related seventeenth-century polychrome silk embroidery is in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum collection (19021904).

18.25" H x 44" W
SOLD



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