To re-create the lives of accomplished embroiderers about whom little is known, Beck surveys historical writings in the form of diaries, biographies, and novels. From the Renaissance to more recent periods, Beck's research yields a panorama of individual portraits that depict the girls and women responsible for much of the fine needlework pictured: elaborate samplers, bookbindings, ornate tapestries, and garments embellished with exquisite patterns. Profusely illustrated with examples of the art form that has survived throughout centuries, the book includes reproductions of pages from rare tomes and oil paintings depicting interiors and richly detailed clothing. With these images Beck offers an expansive trove of design sources for contemporary embroiderers in a solid and inspiring resource. Alice Joyce
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