Weaving on the wall: Architecture and textiles at the monastery of las huelgas in Burgos

Patricia Blessing

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3 Scopus citations


This article discusses the relationship between textiles and stucco decoration, and the signification that this implies, in late medieval Iberia, focusing on the Monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos. In the late thirteenth century, stucco panels were added to the vault of the Gothic cloister in this Cistercian monastery, built under royal patronage. These panels contain a range of motifs derived from textiles produced in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as in the Muslim-ruled cities of al-Andalus. Such textiles were found in royal burials, located in the church of the monastery. The stucco decoration stands in a complex relationship vis-avis textiles that were used for royal clothing. Without copying textiles exactly, the flexible medium of stucco evokes silk fabrics that would also be worn during ceremonial events at the site. Thus, a complex textile spatiality emerges that functions most readily with textiles present. Yet, this connection also works-by way of haptic evocation-when textiles were only present in the evocation rendered in stucco.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-230
Number of pages94
JournalStudies in Iconography
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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