Early 16th-century mix-media retables: study and conservation of the silk flowers in the enclosed gardens of Mechelen
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The Mechelen Enclosed Gardens are extraordinary early-16th-century religious ensembles made from numerous materials and techniques, including silk flowers, polychrome statuettes, metal pilgrim badges, wax medallions, relics and objects crafted from alabaster, parchment, paper and pipe clay. Finishing decorative touches include spangles, pearls and beads made of glass, bone, coral and amber. Painted panels form shutters that reveal or conceal the treasures within. This paper describes a study of the Mechelen ‘Paradise Gardens’ and a project (2014–19) aimed at their conservation, with a focus on the content of the oak wooden cases and the unique silk artificial flowers.
Lieve Watteeuw, Ina Vanden Berghe & Joke Vandermeersch, "Early-16th-century mix-media retables: study and conservation of the silk flowers in the Enclosed Gardens of Mechelen", in: J. Bridgland (ed.), Transcending boundaries : integrated approaches to conservation : ICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference preprints, Beijing, 17–21 May 2021 (Paris: 2022).