Treasury of Putna Monastery - Embroideries and Fabrics, „Stephen the Great” Research and Documentation Centre.
Editura Iacov Putneanul, 2017.
Putna Monastery owns one of the most precious Byzantine-style embroidery collections in southeastern Europe. Its value has been acknowledged worldwide by numerous scientific studies and international exhibitions. Some of the items are classified as part of the Romanian national cultural heritage. The embroidery workshop at Putna Monastery was the most important one during the reign of Stephen the Great, and indeed in the whole history of Romanian medieval art. Its valuea and importance are given mainly by the fact that Putna is the only monastery which developed a recognisable embroidery style of its own.
This and the significant number of surviving items make Putna collection unique in the world. The number of items and their inscriptions prove that an embroidery workshop functioned here during the reigns of Stephen the Great and Bogdan III. The pieces made here are part of the prodigious Byzantine artistic tradition, which also inspired the art south of the Danube River. Serbian art is represented at Putna through an exceptional embroidery, the epitaphios made by Helen, consort of the Serbian despot of Serres. She became nun Euthymia, the oldest known embroiderer in the Orthodox world.
The fact that this epitaphios is part of Putna’s collection proves the relations between mediaeval Moldavia and Serbia. The masters who worked in the Putna workshop perfectly mastered the secrets of embroidery and were able to produce original pieces. The tomb cover of Maria Asanina Palaiologina, the consort of Stephen the Great, is a unique piece in the whole post-Byzantine world. Decorated with Byzantine monograms and symbols, it is a lively expression of what Moldavia was during the time of Stephen the Great: a “Byzantium after Byzantium.”