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The Chasuble of Thomas Becket

A Biography

ISBN: 9783777425191 (HB - E)

The so-called chasuble of Thomas Becket (1118-1170) is one of the most magnificent medieval textiles in the Mediterranean region. Richly decorated with ornaments, fabulous animals and figures in lavish gold embroidery with Arabic inscriptions, this precious liturgical garment provides impressive proof of the reutilisation of the Islamic arts in the Christian world. Venerated as a relic of St Thomas of Canterbury, the chasuble was produced in Spanish-Muslim workshops and probably reached Italy as a donation to the Cathedral of Fermo in about 1200. Despite its outstanding artistic quality and fascinating history, this magnificent garment has never hitherto been the subject of a detailed study. Richly illustrated with numerous details, this volume investigates the meaning of the inscriptions and motifs, examines manufacturing techniques and the function of the chasuble, traces its "biography" and places it within the historical context of the political, economic and cultural situation in the Mediterranean region.



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