The Malterer Hanging is a long, narrow wall hanging. It was produced in the Germanic states in 1310-1320. It is contructed on a linen ground, using coloured wools, worked in Kloster Stitch (convent stitch) and stem stitch.
As with many embroidery works of this period it deals with a religious topic, in this case the evils of earthly love.
Stitches and Techniques
The hanging is a long, narrow band, approx. 68cm x 490cm (2'3" high by 16'1" long). There are a series of quatrafoil panels, each one housing a famous scene illustrating the overall theme of the evils of earthly love. These include Samson and Delilah, Aristotle and Phyllis, Virgil and the daughter of the Emperor Augustus, Iwein and Laudine. The final scene, of a Virgin and a Unicorn (einhorn), sybolise Christian love and charity. The first and last panel contain the arms of the Malterer Family, who gave the hanging to the Convent of St Catherine at Freiburg i. Breisgau, where Anna Malterer was a nun.
Images of Extant Piece
- This image shows the whole hanging, from a distance: http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/rhein/kultur/museen/augustin/tepp.htm
- Aristotles Fall - http://education.umn.edu/EdPA/iconics/Fig/Fig3_4/fig4-029.html
- Aristotle - http://projectile.is.cs.cmu.edu/life/aristotle.htm
- Samson and Delilah - http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/rhein/kultur/museen/augustin/malt01.htm
- Virgin and the Einhorn - http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/rhein/kultur/museen/augustin/malt02.htm
- Aristotle and Phyllis - http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/rhein/kultur/museen/augustin/malt03.htm
- Heraldic Panel (about half way down the page) - http://www.ricardocosta.com/pub/amor.htm
Sources for Further Information
- Staniland, Kay. "Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers", (London: British Museum Press, 1991)
- Clabburn, Pamela. "Masterpieces of Embroidery", (Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1981)