Jessica Gasson

PhD student

Thesis: Woven Complexity: Understanding the textiles represented at the Burgundian Court, c.1420-c.1470

Supervisor: Professor Susie Nash

Funded by Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-East England 


In my research project I examine the cultural perception and expanding applications of textiles in fifteenth-century Europe. Today, the material degradation of fibre and the paradigm of post-industrial textile production reduces awareness of weaving’s meaning, materiality and technique. In the Burgundian-Valois Court, I argue, buyers and makers were engaged in the design practices and typologies of imported Italian and ottoman textiles. Surviving representations of textiles and a wealth of court inventories can be used as valuable tools to reconstruct the lost value of cloth. No study has approached the representation of cloth at the Burgundian court specifically despite its notoriety as the court that spent and spoke the most on textiles. The research aims to foster richer understanding of how we see such textiles today, contextualise cloth in museum collections, and develop discourses that comment on post-industrial production.



2020 – ongoing: PhD, The Courtauld Institute of Art

2013-2018: Fine Art MA, Edinburgh University, First Class Honours


Autumn 2021: The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant and Teaching Assistants Coordinator, Foundations lecture series (BA1)

Conference Papers

  • ‘Woven Complexities: Untangling the Uses of Silk, Gold and Wool in the V&A Passion Tapestry’, God is in the Details: The Art of Detail in the Midle Ages, Annual Medieval Postgraduate Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (29th April 2022)
  • ‘From manuscript to tapestry: Unpicking the making and use of the Sens Three Coronation tapestry c.1476-88’, The Annual Third Year Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (18th – 19th May 2023)
  • ‘Tapestries on the altar: exploring the design and use of the Louvre Virgin of the Living Water and the Sens Three Coronation tapestries’, Intersections: Entanglements with Medieval and Renaissance Textiles, 1100-1550, Annual Medieval Postgraduate Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (22nd May 2023)

Academic Training

2020: DATS training for textile reserach

2021-21: Palaeography (Institute of Historical Research)

2021-2023: French and Middle French

October 2022: “Techniche e technologie storiche” Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio

September 2022: Tapestry Weaving, West Dean Studio