Six-Color Chasuble Front with Animal Pattern

Six-Color Chasuble Front with Animal Pattern


Silk, polychrome velvet with cut pile

Overall: 80 x 57.2 cm (31 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1943.66



Few velvets were woven in Italy with as many as
six colors of pile, such as this front panel from a
chasuble. The chasuble is the main sleeveless outer
vestment worn by priests while officiating during
Mass. The resulting weave highlights a complex
animal pattern in which deer appear behind a fence
and peacocks flank a fountain above—an artistic
fashion that emerged in the 1300s. This complicated
weaving process was gradually abandoned during
the 1400s in favor of monochrome floral patterns
that were often embellished with gold.

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