Golden Embroidery of pre-Mongol Rus.
A rough translation by Lady Sofya la Rus, Mka Lisa Kies of an article found at:
By E. Yu. Katasonova.
Since the above link appears to be unreliable, I have put a copy of the article here.
Золотное шитье домонгольской Руси. X-XIII вв.
[Translator's Note: As usual, parenthesis are from the original Russian text. Items in brackets are my comments
In the Middle Ages embroidery with gold threads was wide-spread in all Europe. It was not exclusive to Ancient Rus’. Gold embroidery decorated formal clothing, shoes, horse and military dress, fabrics in interiors of religious and secular buildings. From the 10th century, after the official reception of Christianity, in Rus spread “anecdotal”, so called “facial” embroidery [figural, story-telling embroidery?]. Russian princes built temples, decorated them with painting, icons, books, and necessary church utensils, including fabrics and embroideries.
Unfortunately, the specific nature of this material, its lack of durability and comparative fragility do not allow us to judge about the full richness of the objects of the most ancient period of the history of Russian embroidery. Remnants of embroidery of the 10th-13th centuries have been preserved very little, the majority of them of archeological origin. As a rule, these fragments of clothing, head dresses and shoes, are found in excavations. Despite the poverty of physical material, we can judge about the past splendor of objects of artistic embroidery by indirect sources: in written records and preserved frescoes and miniature depictions.
1. Evidence of written sources
The first mention of objects of gold embroidery and valuable fabrics in Rus relate to the 9th century. “Pavoloki” and other luxurious patterned fabrics came to Rus in the form of gifts, military plunder, and ransoms, for this Byzantium always tried to limit the purchases by Russian merchants: in the treat of 945 it was noted that “those coming from Rus… have authority to buy pavolok only by 50 zolonik [1/96th of a foot?]”, that is only in a defined amount. Telling of the military campaigns of prince Oleg, “Povest vremennykh let” under the year 907 reports: “And came Oleg to Kiev, carrying gold, and pavoloki, and fruit, and wine, and all sorts of узорочье [fine objects?]”. His heir, Igor, also made a military campaign to Byzantium in 941 “…taking from Greeks gold and pavoloki on all warriors, returned back and came back home to Kiev.” At his death the spouse of Igor, Olga, received baptism in Tsargrad [Constantinople]. The emperor Constantine “…gave her many gifts: gold and silver, and pavoloki, and various vessels”. Remarkably, in the chronicle “pavoloki” are mentioned along with gold, which speaks to its special value. In the same “Povest vremennykh let” under the year 971 is placed an interesting story in this regard: in the time of the long siege of Tsargrad to Prince Svyatoslav came Greek ambassadors, bring to him as gifts “zlato [gold] and pavoloki”. The prince remained indifferent and, not looking at them, ordered them to be hidden. When they brought to him weapons, Svyatoslav took them and began to praise, expressing love and thanks to the emperor. And the Greeks decided: “Лют will be such a man, who riches neglect, but weapons take”. After this was concluded the peace treaty with the Greeks and they were obliged to pay tribute to Rus. In this story, “pavoloki”, along with gold, appear as symbols of wealth, treasure. Another Svyatoslav, in 1075 demonstrated his treasure before German ambassadors, showed them along with “uncounted multitude of gold and silver” also “pavoloki”.
By such a route came to Rus also valuable embroidery. The chronicle witnesses about the spread of embroidery in Rus are met from the 11th century. It was also exported beyond its borders: in the inventory of Afonskoi Monastery Ksilurgy of 1143 is mentioned Russian contributions: “Stole gold Russian one, ruchnik [cuff?] of Blessed Virgin Russian with gold lapel, with cross, circle and 2 birds; and another 2 ruchniki under purple, one for hanging with depictions, and the other ancient Russian”.
Unfortunately, time has not preserved documentary witnesses of the structure of the gold-thread workshops in Rus from the most ancient period. The chronicles deliver to us only mentions of their existence, and also some names of figures of the great-princely family who were occupied with embroidery. Thus, for example, is know that the sister of Vladimir Monomakh, Anna Vsevolodovna (Yanka), the first nun of the Russian princesses, shorn in the Andreevsky monastery that was created by her father, in 1086 opened there a school where young women studied embroidery with gold and silver. In the beginning of the 13th century another princess Anna Vsevolodovna, spouse of Kievan prince Ryurik Rostislavicha, embroidered both for her own family and for decorating temples: “Herself прилежала to work and needlework with threads of gold and silver, for herself and her children, пачеже for the monastery Vydubitskogo”.
In Rus, workshops of artistic embroidery existed both in monasteries and in the courts of great and local princes. It is known, that in raising and building with beauty the temples and monasteries, Russian princes supplied them with everything necessary for the divine service, including so-called “embroidered vessels” [шитой утварью]: chalice covers [покровцами], curtains, индитиями and the rest. In constructing the Kiev St. Sophia in 1037, prince Yaroslav the Wise, as says the chronicle, “adorned with all beauty, with gold and valuable stones and pavolokami”. In 1231 Rostov bishop Kirill “adorned the holy church of the holy Mother of God, with icons precious, other relics both speaking and framing speech [?] of shroud, cause also кивота 2 valuable, and other valuable доспе, on the holy meal, ссуди ж and рипидьи, others many all such узореочей…”. In the chronicle for the year 1288 is listed deposits of Great Prince Vladimir Vasil’evich in different temples “завесы with gold threads” (in Vladimir), “платцы aksamite with threads of gold and with pearls” (in Liudmile) and “индитья with gold embroidery all”.
Gold embroidery was required not only for the decoration of church objects, but also served as a special sign of belonging to the upper class: in 1216 before the Lipovtskoj battle, prince Yaroslav Vsevolodvich said to his druzhina: “If even gold you would sew to your neckpiece – fight!”. Galich prince Daniil Romanovich wore “boots of green leather sewn with gold”. It is natural to propose that all these objects were prepared in the solars of the great-princely terems, under the leadership of the mistress of the house as we can observe also in the next period of Russian history, for which has been preserved rather more material. Following the example of the great princesses, similar workshops were created for themselves by other representatives of the feudal nobility.
A large part of the chronicle records about objects of embroidery are connected with their loss. In a time of fires, internecine wars, plundering and hostile invasion irretrievably vanished the valuable heritage of Kievan Rus. Perished in bloody internecine factions of the Russian princes, they burned cities and villages. In the time of the destruction of Putivl by Izyaslav in 1046 were destroyed “индитьбе” and “robes service, and all embroidered with gold”. In 1202 in the time of the battle for the Kievan throne between Riurik Rostislavovich and Roman Mstislavovich Galician “a great evil was committed… not only one Podol seized, but also metropolitan Holy Sophia was plundered, and Holy Mother of God Desyatinnaya, and all monasteries, and frames from monasteries were torn off, …and valuable dress of the first prince, which was hung in the church in memory of him – and all was seized”. This chronicle witnesses interestingly also that in it was fixed the ancient Byzantine custom, discovered reflected also in Rus: in temples were located many secular garments, donated “in their memory” by princes.
It is possible that just such memorial endowments were spoken of in the Ipatevskij chronicle under 1183, where it reports about a large fire in Vladimir. Was burned almost the whole city, 32 churches, including the cathedral church just built by Andrei Bogolyubskij Uspeniya “Gold-topped” [Златоверхая] with a multitude of “uzorochij” to be found in its sacristy. About the number of lost embroideries the chronicle says: “innumerable”. Were burned “innumerable robes embroidered with gold and pearls яже вешали for holiday in two верви from Gold collar up to Mother of God, and from the Mother of God to Vladycnhykh son in two верви marvelous”. In the opinion of some researchers (V.T. Georgievskij, M.A. Novitskaya), they have in mind the Gold color in Vladimir, located more than a kilometer from Uspenskij church. Under the Vladychny hall they mean the unpreserved rest/peace of the biship, located possibly, next to the temple. More than plausible is the version resented by N.N. Voronin, proposing that in the chronicle it has in mind the northern “golden gates” and the south gates of the temple, while under “vladychnoj hall” it has in mind the Episcopal place: “...in the time of the holiday of Uspeniya opened the south and north “golden gate” of the cathedral portals and between them in two “vervyakh beautiful” hung valuable vestments and fabrics on the cathedral sacristy. Therefore, the “corridor” going outside the temple among shaken by the wind colored fabrics went to worship icon as stream of pilgrims”.
Fires in medieval wooden Rus were frequent occurrences, devastating were also the constant civil strive but nothing can compare with that calamity which overtook Rus in the years of the Mongol-Tatar yoke. “In that year (1223), - reports the chronicle, - came people about whom no one knew exactly – who they were and from where they came, and what their language, and what faith was theirs, and of what tribe. And one called them Tatars, and another calls them Taumen, and a third – Pechenegs”. The Mongol-Tatar invasion brought Rus incalculable calamity. Were burned, destroyed and plundered almost all large cities. Stopped stone constructions, went into decline crafts, chronicle and culturl life of the country. In the time of the massacres of 1237-40 were burned or pillaged by the Tatars a large number of temples. In the capture of Kiev by Tatars in 1240 the chronicle notes: “that year Tatars captured Kiev and Holy Sophia pillaged, and monasteries all and icons and crosses fair and all uzoroch’ya church взяша…”. Kiev could not recovere after the devastation. Aleksandr Nevskij, receiving the yarlik [patent] for the Kievan princedom, did not go there and did not even send his deputy. In the second half of the 13th century in Kiev there were no Russian princes, to it were send Tatar baskaks. The full devastation of the “mother of Russian cities” is shown also by the transfer of the metropolitan throne from Kiev to Vladimir Zaleskij. “Around 1300, - says the chronicler, - metropolitan Maksim, not стерпя the Tatar forces, moved to Vladimir with all life [житьем]. Then even Kiev all разбежался”. It is no wonder that until our day do not survive relics of the embroidery of the Kievan period. They simply could not be preserved in volume/strength objective cause/motive.
“The chronicles paint a picture of unremitting Tatar “battles” in the course of the whole last quarter of the 13th century. In 20-25 years the Tatars 14 times undertook significant campaigns on North-Easter Rus… The Vladimir and Suzdal lands were laid waste by the Tatars five times in this period… Greatly suffering from the numerous Tatar campaigns of the second half of the 13th century were the cities of Vladimir, Suzdal, Yurev, Pereyslavl, Kolomna, Moscow, Mozhaisk, Dmitrov, Tver, Ryazan, Kursk, Murom, Torzhok, Bezhetsk, Vologda”. In 1281 Andrei, the son of Aleksandr Nevskij, fighting for the great-princley throne with his borther Dmitri, brought into Rus Tatar forces and “…the Tatars laid waste to cities and provinces, villages and churchyards, monasteries and churches ransacked – icons, and croses, and sacred vessels, and shrouds [peleny], and books, and all treasures ransacked. Also even around Rostov, and near Torzhok, and near Tver all was laid waste up to Torzhok itself…”. Internal districts of northeast Rus were subject to destruction no only in times of internecine war between the sons of Aleksandr Nevskij, but also later, in the first quarter of the 14th century, during the battles of Moscow with Tver.
Besides written sources, records of objects of embroidery and valuable fabrics we can receive several presentations of them also in preserved painted depictions.
2. Painted depictions
Portraits of the grand prince and his family in preserved monumental frescoes and book miniatures give a presentation about the decoration of princely formal clothing: they were sewn of expensive fabrics, and the collars, hems, cuffs and belts were richly embroidered with gold, pearls and valuable stones. The portrait of prince Yaroslav Izyaslavovich could be seen in the Psalter of Egbert.
In the frescoes of Sophia of Kiev, built in 1037 by Yaroslav the Wise, are preserved a church composition depicting the family of the grand prince (ill. 1). A close analogue of the clothing of the princey family in frescos is found in the inventory of women’s burials found near the foundation of the church of St. Michael in Chernigov (12th cent.). In the inventory it says that no the chests were “remains of silk fabric, woven with gold, decorated with narrow galloon/braid with decoration of fine metal plaques, in several of them set green and yellow pieces of glass”. The hem also was decorated with plaques: “…metallic plaques have the form of crosses, hearts set with yellow and green glass, of circles, squares, triangles, half-circles with and without sets of carnelian”. In screening the earth were found two pearls. In a cache in Desyatinnoj Church were also found fragments of fabric with sewn on plaques and pearls.
In 12th century frescoes in Spaso-Nereditskoj church under Novgorod were preserved depictions of prince Yaroslav the Novgorodian (ill. 2). His cloak [plashch] (korzno) is of expensive fabric with a large-scale pattern trimmed along the edge with gold braid.
But, of course, the most interesting sources for us appear as the fragmetnrs of ancient embroidery, up to our time found in excavations. In the present day only they permit to rather exactly reconstruct the technical characteristics of gold embroidery of the pre-Mongol period.
3. Material monuments
Besides the above-mentioned indirect sources, we have also some number of surviving until our time fragments of embroidery, relating to the ancient period of the history of embroidery in Rus. Excluding several preserved monuments of ecclesiastical figural embroidery, they are for the most part examples of ornamental embroidery decorating women’s holiday clothing. The circumstances causing this are that the majority of the finds of archeologists are made in burial places (plus several early medieval hoards). It is not always understood from what part of the clothing comes the preserved fragments of embroidery. In the notes of archeological expeditions are recorded collars, belts, ribbons, headbands, borders of various garments, hem/flap/lapel, cuffs, chest ornaments. The composition of the ornament always is connected with the formand size of that part of the garment, where the embroidery is located. Special value has preservation of objects proportional to their small number. Often the first investigators did not distinguish embroidery patterns from woven ones, and in most sources the most ancient examples of embroidered were sometimes called brocade [парча], or galloon [позумент], or golden-woven braid or fabric.
A significant number of pre-Mongol embroideries, known at the present time, are kept in the reserves of GIM. These fabrics of archeolocial origin are from Kiev, Chernigov, Vladimir-Suzdal, Ryazan, Smolensk and Novgorod lands. On 51 of 80 fragments of the the collection are found traces of ancient embroidery. Besides the collection of GIM, frametns of ancient embroidery are kept also in the Hermitage, museums of Kiev, Chernigov, L’vov, Khersones, Novgorod and other cities.
Of the more than 50 objects found in Ukraine, two-thirds originated from Kiev and it outskirts, and only one-third from other regions. In Kiev itself are found fragments of 20 embroidereis. They come from the treasury of Mikhailov monastery, from cache in Desyatinnaya church, where died Kievans in the time of Baty’s invasion in 1237, and from burials near the Desyatinnaya church and in the Sophia cathedral.
Rather widely spread is the opinion that gold embroidery was developed exclusively among the highest levels of feudal society. Nonetheless, examples of ancient embroidery are met also in the burials of the village population, especially women. “If 53 examples of silk with traces of gold embroidery only 16 fragments came form hoards and princely graves in Kiev, Chernigov, Smolensk and Staraya Ryazan, the remaining 37 embroideries are found in rural kurgans of various regions of Eastern Europe. The later were undoubtedly created by the peasants themselves. They are striking in the refinement of execution of various motifs, the conciseness and elegance of the designs.” Silk fabric on account of its high price was used by the village population only for parts of holiday costume. Gold embroidery on silk decorated the shoulders, collars, cuffs, headpieces and other parts of clothing. Most often of all were used Byzantine and eastern plain fabrics predominately of red color (in our time as a result of long stay in the earth they have acquired brown shades). From Byzantium imported not only fabric, but also silk and also gold threads. Known that in Byzantium and Spain used gold threads, spun on a silk foundation, and in the east for a foundation they used linen thread, which is worse preserved in the earth.
Concerning the technique of embroidery, it has been carefully investigated and similarly described by M.A. Novitskoj. The majority of preserved embroidery implemented in technique embroidery “in puncture” [в прокол] or “on opening” [на проем]. “Its special features are concluded in that the metallic threads both spun and dragged [волоченая] are sewn through the fabric. On the face side is made a stitch about 7mm in length, while on the back side the stitch is almost the same as the width of the thread [i.e. very short]. On the face side the new row is laid tightly, one against the other, with that each stitch being in the middle of the previous. In such a way, is obtained a solid, as if hammered surface (ill. 3) [would this be like the “hammered lace” in one of the other texts I’ve seen?]. The effect of the metallic shine and play of light is strengthened by changing the direction of the stitches of embroidery: the mistress placed them in parallel rows, or in bends agreeing with the curve of the pattern – “stitch according to form’; for stalks and narrow strips often used a stitch “in a herringbone” (ill. 4). The enrichment of color combination was achieved by the artist who sewed completely all the details of the pattern only remained unembroidered the middle of the ornamental motifs”. The lack of this technique appears that gold threads are difficult to pass through the fabric without damage. Possibly, first was made in the fabric small openings with the help of a slender punch, like those which were found in excavation of Black graves (bronze and bone).
Ornaments, met in early embroideries, appear characteristic for their epoch and find analogy in other types of decorative-applied art: in carving on bone and wood, in stone relief and metallic figures, in book miniatures. In the words of Zh. [J.] Evans, by plunging into the elements of ornament, one can “receive keen impression from time…” In modern science, the study of ornament has been devoted rather great attention. M.A. Orlova calls it “handwriting of an epoch”, “it is a formula compact, most exact and clear expression of one or another style”. The question of analogy and stylistic unity of ornament of the examined epoch one way or another has been touched in the majority of articles devoted to early embroidery, and we will not touch on them here. We note only that close analogues and most of all, sources of motifs of ornamentation of ancient embroidery served more close material – textile: silk patterned fabric and braid [card-weaving?]. Traces are rather often met among the finds of archeologists. Such braid-ribbons, both silk and gold, decorated in antiquity collars, head pieces [очелья], edges of sleeves – the same details as also embroidery. A significant part of finds of archeologists witness about that decorated clothing ornaments often consisted of 2 parts: a narrow strip of simpler pattern edging a main embroidered part of a color or other part of a garment. In ill. 4, 6d, 14 we see the main embroidery, edged with gold braid, and in ill. 6б, ж, з, 7и, к, 8а both parts of the ornament are embroidered.
In embroidery of the 10th-13th centuries, we meet various types of geometric, foliage and zoomorphic ornament or their various combinations. In this, the composition of embroidered ornament always has a distinct and clear rhythm.
The most widespread are geometrical ornament. Embroidery with gold decoration in the form of circles we meet in embroidery from the gorodishcha Rajki near Berdichev, in embroidery from the cache of the Desyatinnayaj church, on the fragments of a collar from a kurgan near d. Karash Yaroslavskij region (ill. 5б) and from the woman’s burial of the Pskov region. The ornament found near d. Khreple of the Novgorodian region of a fragment of a collar (12th cent.) of red silk also consisted of circles, completely sewn with gold (ill. 5а). In our time embroidery has been preserved only fragmentarily. Are met also ornaments, consisting of triangles, rings, rosettes, crosses and stripes
In woman’s grave under Uspenskij cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin was discovered several fragments of a rich head dress, consisting of two embroidered ribbons of green and red color. The upper ribbon of width 3 cm framed above with geometrical stepped pattern, ornament of central part forms completely embroidered with gold circles, separating tree-like motifs with rounded off below tendrils. This part of ornament in structure reminds of embroidery of the color of the end of the 12th-beginning of the 13th cent. for the kurgan near d. Maklakova in Ryazan region (ill. 5в) and “tree of life” of the mikhailovskij collar (ill. 9a). Ornament of the lower ribbon is also two-part: circles with alternating depictions of moons and geometrical motifs, below – a strip of double corners. In the center the forehead piece [очелье] was decorated as [with?] a diadem and embroidered with fine pearls.
A frequent motif – all possible braids [плетенки], appear as a variety of geometrical ornament, but they can contain also foliage elements: stylized leaves, shoots, fleur-de-lis [крины], and also combined with zoomorphic motifs. With braiding was decorated a collar of funeral clothing from d. Vasil’ka of Vladimir region (ill 6a), dated to the 11th-12th cent. More complex elements of braiding in combination with fleur-de-lis ends, inscribed in arches, we see in embroidered color of 12th century from Ivanovskoj region (ill. 6д). An outstanding example of braiding is present an embroidered color of the 11th-12th century form a kurgan near d. Karash of Yaroslavskoj region (ill 6ж) and having with it much in common with a cover/case of Moroccan bag (end 12th – beginning 13th cent.) from a kurgan near d. Anis’kino of Moscow region (braiding ornament crosses in animal snouts [?], ill 6в), and also on a fragment of a standing collar of the 12th century from an excavation in the gorodishche of Old Ryazan, (ill 6з).
Stylized plant ornament, more rarely met, consist of triangular or heart-shaped leaves, fleur-de-lis and tendrils of various forms. It is frequently difficult to precisely classify the ornament as in the majority of cases we have work with various elements united in one pattern: plaits, leaves, fleur-de-lis, circles, triangles, etc. One of the widespread elements is the stylized “tree of life” – a motif coming from deep antiquity. It can be seen on embroidery of the 11th-12th century from Shargogorod, and also in embroidery of the 12th-13th century from Nizhegorod Churkinskij burial ground.
Stylied plant ornament decorates a woman’s head band/fillet [повязку] found during the excavation of 1941 in Old Galich, where around the sarcophagus of Osmosysl’ was opened the burial of a young woman of the 12th century. The pattern of embroidery was formed with smoothly coiled stems, upper and lower of which came out paired in symmetrical tendrils (ill. 7e). Almost the same ornament is visible on another head band/fillet found in a hoard in Mikhailovskoj monastery in Kiev (ill. 7ж) and decorated also with metallic plaques and fine pearls.
In two fragments from the cache in Deyatinnaya church (ill. 7а, б) we see a composition of foliage motifs with characteristic for that epoch tendrils. The 13th century dates similar ornaments, originally from graves under Uspenskij cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin (ill. 7з) and from a necropolis in Northern gorodishche of Old Ryazan. One of them presents itself as continuous serpentine stems with extending from them beautiful circular tendrils (Kremlevkose buria). Ornament of embroidery from kurgan burial near d. Kubaev of Vladimir region (ill 7в) and d. Kir’yanov of Yaroslav region (ill. 7г) consist of tendrils in the form of Latin letter S, placed in pairs and supplements with other fine elements. These ornaments could be interpreted both as geometrical and as strongly stylized foliage. Using these same elements ornament of forehead piece [очелья] of 11th century from Troitskij kurgan in Boldinoj hill of Chernigov region (vertical s-shaped tendrils, drawn in rectangle, supplemented below with a row of small rings) sooner could be called geometrical (ill. 7д).
From Nizhegorod regions comes embroidery consisting of closed foliage tendrils and wide stripes, going along the edge of a collar. M.V. Fekhner dates this embroidery, carried out “na proem” in fine silk, to the 12th century (ill. 7и). For foundation under it is laid a piece of birchbark.
Fragments of embroider from s. Roomashka of Kievan region presents itself formed as a net of rhombs in which are drawn flier-de-lis (ill. 6e). This embroidery formed a wide surface, and not a narrow band, to which under it was laid a piece of birchbark, from which one can conclude that it was a chest ornament. It had elements in common with a fragment of collar found in a tomb of the 12th-beginning 13th century in the church of Ioan Bogoslov in Smolensk (ill. 6б), pattern which consists of rhombs with inscribed in them fleur-de-lis. Such inscribed in a net fleur-de-lis decorate embroidery from Old Ryazan.
Often ornamental embroidery is close in construction and drawing of imported silk fabrics. Thus, the pattern of embroidery of a collar from kurgan near d. Kubaev (ill. 10) and embroidery from Old Kykov of Vladimir region, consisting of heart-shaped figures, practically coinciding in design with Byzantine fabric of the 12th cent. from Kestner-museum in Hanover. This fragment has in common a pattern with the pattern found in the grave of Novgorod Sophia cathedral cuff (ill. 8) and belt of prince Vladimir (1020-1052 years), the oldest son of Yaroslav the Wise. Kept in the Novgorod museum is a opyast’e (cuff of a sleeve) decorated with well-preserved embroidery on faded/discolored red silk fabric. Several researchers interpret its ornament as a “tree of life”. It is interesting to note that this embroidery repeats the drawing of pattern of Byzantine fabric, from wich was sew the belt of the prince. Several analogues to it can see on the collar from the grave near d. Maklakov of Ryazan region and s. Mikhail near Suzdal. Trace was preserved only of the contours of two “trees”.
Stylized “trees of life” are inscribed also in ornament of another part of the same standing collar from Michail (ill. 9a). A similar motif is used in embroidery of the 11-12th century from Derevyanitskov burial near Novgorod, consisting of inscribed in circles alternating “trees” and birds (ill. 9д). They were embroidered “na proem” with untwisted silk threads on brown silk fabric. These are fragments of a standing collar. Identical depictions of birds and plant motifs, inscribed in circles, are embroidered on the forehead piece of the 12th century from the kurgan near d. Aseev of Moscow region (ill. 9в).
Depictions of birds appear as elements of zoomorphic ornament. Birds depicted on embroidery of the 11th-12th century from Shargorod (ill. 9б), executed in with gold/silver thread [канителью]. The ornament was assembled of rhombs, in which are inscribed various rosettes and birds. Similar depictions of birds are med also on a collar of the 11th-12th centuries from d. Lisno of Vitebskij region, in embroidery of the 12th centyury from Vladimir, on embroidery of a forehead piece of the 12th century from the village of Assev of the Moscow region and Kokhany of Smolensk region, on braid [тесьметесьме] from Old Ryazan, where birds are located on the sides of the sacred tree. Preserved also are information of finds in the territory of Poltavskoj region of a standing collar with depictions of birds in arches.
Beautiful embroidery of the 12th century on a collar, found in Ivanovskoj region, presents itself as inscripbed in circular medallions profile depictions of birds, separated with graceful foliage motifs (ill. 9г). This embroidery has much in common with the above-mentioned fragments from Novgorod and Aseevo (ill. 9д-3, в). De[tions of birds were very widespread of motifs of ornament 11th-12th century. Anology from other types of applied art brought in many sources.
Cheetahs [гепарды] are depicted on a rectangular chest decoration, analogous to one that can be seen on a mosaic portrait of empress Irena of the beginning of the 12th century in the south gallery of the Constantinople Sophia. This embroidery was found by V.V. Khvojko during the excavation of the burial of a young woman in Belogorod (ill. 6г.). From it were preserved who whole (7.3 x 8 cm) and fragmentary depicitons of cheetahs, torsos of which crossed in a plaited ornament. “Cheetah appears as a component as part of a complex of plaints, found in one of the 11th-12th century graves in Belgorode on the chest of the deceased. Tightly rising on both sides fleur-de-lis grown from plaits, they give the whole composition appearance.”
In the 30s of the 19th century in the princely tomb of Ryazan Boris-and-Gleb cathedral were found fragments of silk fabric on which “gold diepcitions of dragons, ostrich, crocodiles, griffins, etc.”
It is unknown the significance of fragments of embroidery from Mikhailovskoj hoard (ill. 5и), published by M.F. Belyashevkij. Their large ornamental motifs of height of 9-10 cm of stylized spiral-shaped shoots and arches does not have an analogue. As visible on the example of brought in above forms, the arch as one of examples of rhythmical divisions of ornament are met rather often (ill. 7к). Other preserved fragment from Mikhailovskij hard, possibly, was part of “valuable oplech’ya [fancy collar] – of which was preserved little pieces of collar…”, decorated along the edge with gold half-circle pendants and fine pearls. L.I. Yakunina considered that from the 12th century up to us did not come examples of pearl embroidery. Modern methods of investigation allow to uncover traces of pearl embroidery even in its full loss. Besides fragments of embroidery form Mikhailovskij cache, pearls were used for decoration of a forehead piece from Ivorov (see below), the above-mentioned forehead piece from the excavation of Uspenskij cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin and other embroideries.
A unified ornamental style, commonality of technique of execution of embroidery is characteristic for different artistic centers of ancient Rus: Kiev, Chernigov, L’vov, Vladimir on the Klyazma, Novgorod, Ryazan, Nizhnij Novgorod, and other cities.
Besides the technique of embroider “na proem”, are met also embroidery “v prikrep”: metallic threads laid on fabric and fastened to it with small stitches of silk thread, passing through the fabric. The change to this more simple and convenient technique of embroidery with gold threads occurred at the end of the 12th-beginning 13th centuries. In this technique was executed an embroidery dated to the 10th-12th centuries from s. Zhezhava consisting of examples of wide ornamental ribbons of tombons, along the edge of which were placed rosettes (ill. 11).
To the 12th century is dated a more complex composition of embroidery from Kherson, which, possibly, decorated the pripol (hem) of a garment of the family of Yaroslav on a fresco of Sophia Kievan. This is framed above and below with narrow edging strip, filled up with complex plaited ornament. On the upper and lower ending plant motifs and loops turned on one side, that confirm the horizontal position of the embroidery. This embroidery, like also the Zhezhavian was sewn “v prikrep”, and the metallic threads are laid not along, but across the narrow bands of the design, all the time turning from edge to edge, where fixed to the fabric (seam/stitch “v lom” [in scrap/crow-bar?]).
Kievan Rus was connected with Byzantium both militarily and by trade and cultural ties. M.A. Novitskij proposed that embroidery from Zhezhava, and especially from Khersones, could be imported from Byzantium. Gradually, at the end of the 12th-beginning 13th centuries, the technique of embroidery “v prikrep”, more suited for work with gold threads, spread simultaneously in Byzantium, Western Europe, and in Rus, replacing embroidery “na proem”. This evidences not only about the close trade-economic ties of Rus and Byzantium, but also about the unified cultural experience.
With the stitch “v prikrep” was made the edging in the form of plaints on the color of a womans garment form a grave of the end of the 12th-beginning 13th centuries in the church of Ioan Bogoslov in Smolenske (ill. 6б). The same embroidery of collar was completed “na proem”. Different techniques were used also in the embroidery of a collar from Maklakovo (ill. 5в): stitches “na proem” used for the counters of circles on thick red silk. Plants and more interior in-fill of circles was sewn “v prikrep”. The contours of the ornament outlined with colored silk.
Embroider “v prikrep” was used for embroidery of end of the 12th century on a collar from a woman’s grave near d. old Pushkin of Moscow region (ill. 14).
Inokinya Marionilla Salamatova, occupied with the technique of embroider “na proem”, in the article “Embroidered collars of pre-Mongol period from Chernigov and the technical characteristics of execution” describes one more variant of the ancient method of embroidery “v prikrep” imitating the technique of embroidery “na proem”. In this technique of embroidery the fastening thread, going out on the face side and fastening the gold, withdraws into the same hole that it came out of (ill 15a), and the gold thread is dragged to the back (ill. 15б). In the next row, the stitches of fastening are placed staggered. ON the face side such stitching appears the same as embroidery “v prokol”, to distinguish them one can only by the back and small compaction in contour of embroidery fragments, observing in proemnom embroidery. The question of the distribution of this technique in ancient embroidery remains open.
The same heart-shaped ornament of a little collar (ill. 12) is very reminiscent of a collar from a kurgan near d. Old Bykov and Kubaev of Vladimirskij region (ill. 10).
Interesting analogues to the technique of embroidery “v prikrep”, imitating the stitching “v prokol”, we find in British embroidery of the same period. For example, several eamples of embroidery from the museum Victoria and Albert in London, judging by the description, made by Donald King, used the same method: this fragment of embroidery dated to 1160-1190 (ill. 18) and piece of shoe (1220-1250 yr) of bishop Walter Kantelupski (ill. 16). Both are embroidered with gilded silver stitches “v prikrep”, imitating proemnoe embroidery and silk stalk-like [“stem”] stitch. Church garments of the end of 13th-beginning 14th centuries were embroidered with silk “v raskol” [split], “v prikrep” [fasten] in covering it imitating stitching “na proem” [hole] with prikrep.
At the same time and monument of more early time from the same museum, stole of Saint Cuthbert with a depiction of Peter-deacon, dated 909-916 C.E. uses the technique of embroidery with gold “v prikrep”, with silk stitching “v raskol” and stalk-like [stem] (ill. 17).
Along with ornamental subjects in ancient Russian embroidery of the examined period occasionally are med also figural depictions. Thus, on a fragment of one of 12 standing collars found in Novgorod Derevyanitskoj burial ground are depicted five embroidered waist-length figures of angels, ending with half-circle arches. Above and to the right are placed ornament in the form of plaits (ill. 19a, 20). This miniature embroidery (height of fragment 4.8 cm) is executed on brown silk fabric with spun gold and untwisted silk threads “na proem”.
Similar embroidery was found in a woman’s grave near d. Ivorov of Tverskoj region. ON the fragment of forehead piece was preserved part of belt of deesis composition, sewn with colored silk and spun gold threads (ill. 19б, 20). Height of arches is 2.5 cm, the figures 1.8 cm. “Half-figures of saints in haloes are embroidered with horizontal stitches staggered. Three next are embroidered with vertical stitches, which are dispersed radiation from above to below as if depicting the fall of the folds of the garments. Haloes are sewn in a circular form with rows of stitches. Were preserved traces of figural embroidery of silk in the form of faces and in the contours of hands”. Embroidery was executed on bright-raspberry sort of fabric with two types of gold thread. The figures themselves were sewn with spun gilded silver, the arches – with four twisted/braided on different sides with cords of thread, prepared in a special manner: already prepared spun gld thread was coiled around silk thread. The arches and contours of the halos preserved traces of pearl strings. “A sharp contrast of plane, rather light in texture embroidered in gold figures with the relief of the arches with strings of pearls stepping forward above the plane of the fabric give the whole miniature compositions of a Deesis tier a special austerity and architectural quality.”
Avery close analogy to the examined forehead piece appears embroidery of a forehead ribbon from Karashskov kurgan burial ground where waist-length figures of saints, inscribed in arches, alternate with ornamental motifs.
In the Historical museum of Kiev are kept fragments of a standing collar of the 12th century decorated with arches with half-figure saints, alternating with depictions of birds.
Figural embroidery decorates also a ribbon found in princely tomb in vestibule of Boris-and-Gleb cathedral of Old Ryazan. On it one can distinguish an assembled depiction of a saint with upraised disproportionately large hands.
Analogous figural depictions are men on golden-woven Byzantine ribbon (about it already spoken above). One of such ribbons was found in a woman’s tomb of the 12th century under Uspenskij cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. In the middle – a band depicting the Mother of God Orans, from two sides it is surrounded by figures of archangels in small square frames. Depictions are woven of silk on a gold background.
A preserved fragment of gold braid [тесьмы] with a band of Deesis composition (ill. 19в.) was found in the excavations of kurgans of 12th-beginning of 13th century near d. Maklakov of Ryazan region. Undoubtedly, the burial as Christian, while the braid appears “as if prototypical of later burial headdress [венчиков]”, used in Christian burials up to the present time.
Gold ribbons, imported from Byzantium, were expensive objects of ornament. As already was said above, their ornament was often repeated in embroidery. “Evidently, to imitate ornament of valuable fabrics was simultaneous with their appearance in Rus”.
In the beginning of the 1980s was unearthed in Chinul’skij kurgan of end of 12th-beginning 13th centuries on the shore of the river Molochnoj. This was a most rich tomb of a noble medieval warrior-nomad. The most interesting for us are two of six kaftans, which managed to reconstruct in all details. The buried man was dressed in a kaftan of dense crimson-red silk with insert of gold embroider on a blue background. Embroidery decorated the whole frond, upper part of the sleeves and cuffs. Ornament presents itself as nets with gold plaques in the cross-hairs, inside the rhombs – embroidered with gold circle with drawn in them faces, either maidenly or angelic (ill. 21, 22, 23). The collar of the kaftan and little round cap edged with gilded plaques with insets of semiprecious stones. Along the contour of the pattern went pearl edging.
The second kaftan was so luxuriously decorated with figural embroidery: on the chest of the warrior was placed image of the Savior not Made with Human Hands. The fabrics and gold threads are of Constantinople origin. On the second kaftan has a Slavonic inscription, that gave the basis for A.K. Elkinoj to consider it Russian work, done in the court of the Russian grand prince not long before the invasion (ill. 24).
Unfortunately, we cannot include in our survey the great-moulded examples of embroidery found in 1999 in a princely burial in Novgorod Sophia. Beautifully preserved, elegant ornaments and interesting subjects of this embroidery after its publication, we hope, will make up a glittering page in the history of embroidery of the pre-Mongol period.
The general number of preserved fragments of gold embroidery originate from the clothing of high society, rather important. That concerns things of church origin that direction [распоряжении] of investigators shows of all several examples. These are several exhibits of the Novgorod museum, the remains of pontifical [?] funeral robes from Kievan Sophia, a shroud from GIM.
In 1936 during excavation in the altar area of Kievan Sophia in one of the graves of the metropolitan, made before 1280, were found several fragments of gold embroidery, incomplete and in poor condition. Three of these consist of the composition “Orans with angels”, on five are different depictions of saints. That concerns ornamental motifs, that from them were put together a composition of “sacred trees” etc. The Sophia embroidery was executed on brown silk fabric. The Dolichnaya Mother of God, angels and saints embroidered on a foundation of spun gold with application of details of spun silver. Faces and hands were embroidered with bright untwisted silk in one direction; власы [hair?], shoes – dark brown; lips – red; прорись [lines] on faces executed with stalk-like [stem] stitching also in dark brown silk. The main plane of the figures are embroidered “na proem”, the details “v prikrep”. Such a unity of technique was met by us in the above-mentioned objects of secular function. For the designation of contours and folds on garments left unembroidered narrow bands of background.
In the center of the composition – the Mother of God Orans (on the right of the halo is preserved the signature MR): She is dressed in a long narrow tunic and hanging below the knees maforii [veil], curving at elbow arms upraised above. The face was not preserved. On the sides of the Mother of God are shown over Her angels with lowered wings (the height of each about 10.75 cm). On them gold chiton with silver hems, gold cloaks with silver lower/below. The upper part of gold wings are sewn with vertical stitches and separated with silver bands from the lower, sewn “herringbone” (ill. 25).
The figures of saints are depicted frontally, with the right hand they bless, while in left they hold Gospels. The upper sakkos on them is dreent with omofory. The whole figure of the first saint (height 12.7 cm) is embroidered with gold, to the right of the halo is preserved the letters GIO with a sign above which one can read as AGIOS. The clothing of the second saint is embroidered with gold and silver. This is the only depiction preserving the embroidery of the face, using colored silk. Judging by the preserved inscription, having a Slavonic, and not a Greek ending, this is holy Grigorij (ill. 26). The third saint is dressed in a podriznik, felon’, stole, and omofor, that also witness of his Episcopal dignity. One of the figures is embroidered with silver ad gold threads, the two others with gold. M.A. Novitskaya considers that the embroidery was executed by different mistresses, “…distinguish different levels of keenness of observation and different levels of gold-embroidery mastery. This is evident also in the different execution of the stitches: both fine and densely laid one to another, and more long and widely spread”.
The preserved fragments of ornamental embroidery present itself as part of foliate ornament (ill. 27). Managed to reconstruct a composition of “sacred tree”, three-times repeating in Sophia embroidery, and part of another. The contour of ornament is edged with silk “v prikrep”, but they are hardly preserved.
Conceivably, the figures of the saints and the foliage ornament were placed on a stole, while the composition with the Mother of God could be place on the collar of felon’. M.A. Novitskaya considers it as work of local Kievan mistresses and dates to the 12th century.
To an earlier origin of Novgorod embroidery relates a shroud to the last quarter of the 12th century. “The Crucifixion with Bystanders”, conceivably originates from Novgorod Yurev monastery (ill. 28,29). In the middle of the shroud along the sides of the crucifixion of Christ are depicted the Mother of God, John the Theologian, Mary Magdalene and Longin-centurian. In the upper part of the central area are four soaring angles with raised hands on either side of the cross. On the border of the shroud in eleven stamps/circles are placed depictions of the Savior and the Mother of God of “the Sign” (on upper and lower edge in the center), and also apostles. Originally the depictions were embroidered on dark silk fabric of twill weave, which was preserved in places of loss of the silk embroidery in faces and under inscriptions. Later, evidently, at the end of the 12th-13th centuries, the depictions were moved onto a new background, during this part of the medallions were moved to different place (the evangelists originally had to be located in the corners), losing the relationship of the middle and border. This new background presented itself as a rather ancient Byzantine silk fabric with a design of large repeats: in circles are inscribed depictions of winged bulls, and between them are place lions and leopards.
The clothing was embroidered with spun gold and silver “na proem”, the folds marked with silk. Also with not preserved silk threads were embroidered the faces of all the personages. The body of the Savior (except the face, hair, hand and feet) was embroidered with gold threads “na proem”. Such an unusual method of embroidering of the figure is met rather rarely.
In the Novgorod museum they exhibit the so-called cuffs of reverend Varlaam Khutynskij (ill. 30, 31). On each cuff is depicted a three-figure Deesis; placed in the center ростовой figure of Christ and bystanding in prayer the Mother of God and John the Forerunner [i.e. John the Baptist]. A similar variant of Deesis is known both by Byzantine and by Russian monuments. V.G. Putsko on the basis of the general character of the composition and interpretation of its details does not exclude “the probability that as first-hand examples/models could have served miniature illumination of Byzantine manuscripts”.
The composition of the Deesis figures are included in half-circle arches, propped up on columns with rectangular capitals. As a foundation served a band of foliage ornament consisting of garlands of acanthus leaves. Such a band also enclosed the composition above. Two different variants of stylized foliage ornament is placed in the half-circle arches and on their supporting columns. “Although the central place in the cuff is occupied by the Deesis composition, nonethe less th role of the foliage ornament here is significant. In the general artistic judgement of items, to it is allotted a barely not paramount significance. By the artists was subtly thought through the relationship of the ornamental band with between itself and with the central composition.”
It is interesting to note that the pattern concluding the half-circular arch is practically identical to ornament of head bands from Old Galich and Kiev (ill. 7a, б), that again confirm the commonality of ornamentation of secular and ecclesiastical objects, and also to the ornament going along the edge of the collar of the so-called dalmatic of Karla Vekikogo [i.e. Charles the Great] (a Byzantine sakkos of the 14th century).
The embroidery is executed “na proem” with delicate/fine spun gilded silver on a blue silk fabric. The folds of the garments are conveyed with fine graphic lines, emphasized with stitches of dark silk. The gold embroidery is not preserved fully. The face, embroidered of flesh color with silk, are almost completely lost. The contour of the depiction is edged with fine pearls without “flooring” [i.e. the corded foundation?]. The inscription is embroidered with spun gold threads in Cyrillic, however also Greek forms [грецизированной]. In technique of embroidery the cuffs are analogous to the above-mentioned stole from metropolitan grave of Kievan Sophia and the shroud with the Crucifixion from GIM.
N.A. Mayasova does not support the opinion of the possibility that the cuffs belonged to Varlaam Khutynskij. V.G. Putsko expression the supposition that they belonged to Novgorod archbishop Antonij (to the peace of Dobrynin Adrejkovich), that is such valuable cuffs are more appropriate to the character of episcopal vestments. Antonij (a Khutynski monk) occupied the Novgorod cathedral in 1210-1220, again in 1226-29. Going in peace, he lived in the Khutynskij monastery where he died in 1232. “After him must have remained some things from the archbishop custom, and this could be, in particular, the examined cuffs” (a similar history occurred with the Khutynskij missal, belonging to Antonij, but later on ascribed to the reverend Varlaam. On this basis, V.G. Putsko suggest a later date for the cuffs – the first quarter of the 13th century.
An interesting monument of ornamental embroidery of the 12th century appears the border of a фелон from Antoniev monastery, the so-called chasuble of Antonij Rimlyanin (ill. 22, 33 [should be 32 & 33?]). On it are depicted alternating ovals and circles with embroidered in them paired depictions of fanstatic animals on the sides of a stylized tree. The technique of this embroidery is partly distinguished from that about which we spoke above. The embroidery was executed on a background of green and blue damask with spun gold “na proem”, on a floor of linen thread. Because of the floor the embroidery acquires relief. The details are executed with silk. The original setting/function of this embroidery to us is not known. The edging is cut in two parts: its upper half was sewn to the hem of the фелон in from, the lower – in back [i.e. the upper is sewn to the outer fabric and the lower half is sewn to the lining?]. The фелонь itself, sewn of bright damask with a collar of gold velvet, has the ancient bell-shaped cut and is first known in the Inventory of the Novgorod Savior-Khutynskij monastery of 1642.
Already A.N. Svirin noted similarity of depiction of this embroidery with the pattern of Byzantine silk fabric preserved in the London Kensington museum (ill. 34). “Full similarity of ornament of the border and of embroidery pattern convinces that the embroideresses used patterned fabrics for the ornamental composition”. It its turn, in Byzantine textile motifs of the symmetrical placement of pairs of fantastic animals or birds along the sides of a sacred tree came from Sasanid art.
As the last objects in the series of known monuments of embroidery of the 10th-13th cnetureis appears two recently published by N.A. Mayasova сударя from the collection of the Museum of the Moscow Kremlin (ill. 35-36). Their origin is not established, they were acquired by the museum in 1925 from the collection of S.P. Tyulin as the side of a gonfalon [banner]. But their size and composition of drawing allow to consider them the most early of the preserved covers [покровцами] of cup and paten. On the first sudare in the central circular medallion is depicted a waist-length figure of the Savior Almighty, in the corners of the medallion of smaller size – three (the fourth is lost) waist-length figures of apostles, between them cherubims. Here the Savior and apostles are shown frontally, the cherubin surrounding the medallion with the Savior, turn their heads to the center. The second cover has a similar composition: in the central medallion, surrounded by cherubim, - the Mother of God of the “Incarnation”, in the corners – the evangelists.
In places of lost embroidery is visible the original background – raspberry taffeta. Now as a background serves ancient coarse-grained linen/canvas with the remains of taffeta of a sandy color. The face is embroidered with untwisted silk of sand color, “in raskol”, with large stitches in one direction. Прориси and hair – with brown silk. All clothing was embroidered with gold threads “v prikrep” (stitching “klopchik” and “gorodok” with imperceptible fastening). So to us appears, by the technique used in these monuments the gravitate to embroidery already of a later period. Of the pearl edgin is preserved only the flooring of linen thread. Poorly preserved also the silk embroidery, the gold has chaffed/rubbed/raveled. During alteration the small medallions changed places; besides the depiction of apostle and cherubim on the paten sudare, were lost also the border and inscription.
“Several features (stocky figures with round heads and protruding ears, large hands), combined in depiction of Savior Almight and the Mother of God of the Sign (in a variant of the “Incarnation”), are archaism and some primitiveness of depiction with conventional marking of the lines of faces, are met in the art of Novgorod of the 13th century, the technique of embroidery… allows one to consider the sudari as executed in Novgorod earlier than the 14th century. In the Inventory of the Armory palace the production is dated to the 11th-12th centuries and is made the registration “Novgorodian embroidery”.
The small number and not always good-preservation of monuments do not allow to reconstruct a picture of the development of ancient Russian embroidery in the 10th-13th centuries. Using the information of archeological sources, we can make only the following preliminary summaries:
1. All the materials used in embroidery were imported (both the silk fabric background, and the gold, silver and silk thread itself), accordingly, their price was rather high. Nevertheless, gold embroidery decorated not only the clothing of noble figures, but also some parts of the holiday clothing (collar, edge of sleeves, forehead piece and headdresses) of the urban and village population of Ancient Rus.
2. The fundamental technique used in gold embroidery was embroidery “na proem”. On the border of the 12th-13th centuries it changed ot moare simple and convenient method of embroidery “v prikrep”. The contour of gold embroidery is often outlined with addition of silk thread stitching with running stitch [«вперед иголку»] or stem stitch [стебельчатым].
L.I. Pogodin considers as prototypes of the technique of gold embroidery “v prikrep” the ancient eastern method of embroidery with laid-on cord (“cording tie” [шнурочную вязь]). In the ancient East is known carpets, patterns of which are embroidered with such a method. Related to later appearance of embroidery with gold threads “v prikrep” it is connected with the stable many-century tradition of embroidery with simple threads “na proem”.
At the same time M. Dreger, a German researcher of medieval gold embroidery, explained the application of the technique of embroidery “na proem” in Ancient Rus by the close family ties of the members of the grand-princely family with the rulers of Western and Northern Europe: the wife of Yaroslav the Wise, Indigerd, was the daughter of Norwegian king Olaf, their sons were married to a representatives of the German feudal nobility. He confirms that for all the northern countries were characterizing the technique of embroidery “na proem”, when the southern, including also Byzantium, used embroidery “v prikrep”.
Unfortunately, the question of connections, possible mutual influence and borrowing between West European and ancient Russain embroidery of the given period is not studied in sufficient measure. So also stands the matter with the Russian-eastern connections. Objects of gold embroidery found even in the kurgan graves of tribes roaming along the southeast border of Rus: Pechenegs, Polovtsy. The Russian princedom was placed with them in constant and close contact (military, political, family ties). Among gifts, which were exchanged between the Russian princes and representatives of the nomadic nobility, certainly were also valuable embroidery. It is fully possible, that clothing embroidered with gold could fall either on one side or on the other as military plunder.
3. The ornaments of embroidery appear characteristic for all types of decorative arts of the examined period and often adopted from the closest examples – textiles: patterned silk fabrics, and gold ribbons, also imported.
The native scientists of the Soviet period very often traced the essence of ornament to pagan symbols. B.A. Rybakov in the book “Paganism of Ancient Rus” traces a whole series of signs and symbolic depcitiosn, connected with agrarian magic. In this connection it is especially important to present the question of interaction of motifs of folk embroidery and gold embroidery coming from Byzantium. Anri de Moran, studying fabrics in a series of other types of decorative-applied art, met motifs of paired symmetrically place animals or birds, always speaks of its Sasanid origin. In present information we can not definitely confirm, if were pagan ideas and protective relevance in the ornamentation of clothing in the examined period, or if embroidery was perceived already as a beautiful pattern and had a purely aesthetic function.
4. For us it appears important the fact that one and the same ornamental motifs were used both in secular things and in objects of church function. Even figural depictions (clearly of religious character) could decoration secular clothing.
Thus, in the 10th-13th centuries in Rus, gold embroidery was wide-spread. The preserved examples even now strike our imagination with beauty and refinement of embroidered ornaments, the fineness and artistry of embroidery/stitching, and also the wonderful harmony of composition judging both by ornamental and in figural embroidery.
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