The Antependium of Pizzighettone: Gift of the King of France

The antependium of Pizzighettone, as it is known, was a gift of the French king, Francois (1494-1547), who was known to be a great patron of the arts. During the Italian wars of that period, he spent time in Pizzighettone, a captivity of sorts, and he developed a close friendship with the monsignor there. After he was able to safely leave Pizzighettone, and as a sign of gratitude to the monsignor, he gifted these items to them.

The antependium itself is constructed primarily of crimson velvet and includes spectacular images of Christ, the Virgin and St. John, along with decorations of gold and silver, IHS and Marian monograms, and shields with the fleur-de-lys of France on each of the four corners. By tradition it is said to have been embroidered by Queen Luisa of Savoy and the ladies of her court.

Here are a few different views of this spectacular antependium:

Shown here is the display of this antependium in the diocesan museum of Cremona.

As an added treat, here is a look at the chasuble shown:

Photos courtesy Nicola de Grandi.

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