11.18 Aer with the Communion of the Apostles
late 14th-early 15th c.
49.5 x 60 cm
Christ stands in frontal pose beneath under a triangular ciborium, his hands outstretched, offering the bread to the apostles. On either side is an angel holding a liturgical fan. The altar is covered by a cloth embroidered with crosses; on it stand the paten with the bread, flanked by the chalice and the asterisk, which is removed from the paten during the singing of the Sanctus. The two groups of apostles, headed by Peter and Paul, bow to receive the bread in the palms of their crossed hands. Around the edge of the aer is a border of cruciate circles linked by triple guilloche. Above the ciborium is the inscription 'H ΜΕΤΑ-ΔΟCΗC' (The Communion; the O and the C in ligature).
The background is diapered in gold thread, mainly worked in kamares and karfoto stitches. This aer is remarkable for the perfection of the composition and the delicacy and precision of the needlework. Very little silk has been used - only for the flesh and to highlight details of the objects and the ornamental band, whose decorative motif is typical of Paleologan art. This veil is one of the masterpieces of the Paleologan period.
Bibliography: Millet 1947, pp. 75-6, fig. CLVIII. Bogdanovic - Djuric - Medakovic 1978, p. 126, fig. 103.