Byzantine Embroidery Secondarily Applied on a Chasuble from the Cathedral of St. Elisabeth in Kosice (Slovakia) – Its Dating and Origin

  • Hasalova, E.
  • Piatrova, A.
  • Krivda, A.
For almost one hundred years, the treasury of the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Kosice (Slovakia) has contained a fragment of a richly embroidered Byzantine epitrachil used as a decoration on a newer chasuble. Although it was presented in 1937 at the Prague exhibition ‘Old Art in Slovakia’, no precise, in-depth research had yet been conducted on this object. The character of the artifact required an interdisciplinary approach, which comprised archival, art-historical and restoration research. The latter included material and technological analysis of the embroidery, including radiocarbon analysis to better determine its dating. The art-historical research revealed the artifact’s similarity to other embroidered Byzantine epitrachils from the 14th through the 16th century that are described in the academic literature (and preserved in regions of Russia, Romania, Moldovia, Serbia and Greece). The most evident similarity was found with epitrachils from the monastery in Putna and from the Dionysiou Monastery on Mount Athos, which date from the 15th century. The material-technological analysis yielded new knowledge about the embroidery technique, which could not be used for comparison due to the lack of technological data about epitrachils documented in the literature to date. The radiocarbon analysis dated samples of the textile’s embroidery fibres to the first half of the 15th century while art-historical research and theological-liturgical comparison tend to date it to the second half of the 15th century. As yet, the archival research has revealed no new information about the embroidery, which is first mentioned in the cathedral’s inventory in 1936. The results of the research show that the investigated fragment of epitrachil dates to the 15th century, making it one of the older preserved embroideries stored in Slovakia. Although very similar analogues have been found in the monasteries of Putna (Romania) and Dionysiou (Mount Athos), it is not yet possible to draw precise conclusions about the embroidery’s origin. Further archival research and a more detailed technological comparison with analogous epitrachils will be required to determine its origin and dating more accurately.
SGEM Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Byzantine Embroidery;Epitrachil;Byzantine Liturgy;Kosice;St Elisabeths Cathedral
SGEM Book title:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020
Book number:
SGEM Series:
SWS International Scientific Conferences on ART and HUMANITIES - ISCAH
Publisher address:
51 Al. Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
SWS Scholarly Society; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Acad Fine Arts Zagreb Croatia; C
26-27 October, 2020,
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020, 26-27 October, 2020
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