The Ecclesiastical Heraldry of Giuseppe Quattrociocchi

On at least two occasions I have specifically addressed the matter of ecclesiastical heraldry, the first in a more general consideration of the tradition of ecclesiastical heraldry and the second in relation the vestments in particular. Today I wished to feature the work of Giuseppe Quattrociocchi, an ecclesiastical heraldist based in Italy, with a specific focus on his work as it is manifest in vestment design.

Now one of the matters I have raised in past pieces is that very often contemporary work of this sort is two dimensional in nature. The issue this can create is that the heraldry tends to look "tacked on" to a vestment rather than an integral part of it. In browsing through some of the examples of Mr. Quattrociocchi's work, however, I saw a couple of examples which stood out to me as moving against this trend.  The key, I would suggest, is in the way the tassels are handled as well as some other considerations in addition.

Let's take a look at two examples I have in mind.

Both of these examples are, I think, quite well done, and what particularly stands out to me is that neither feel "flat." As noted, I think the key is particularly found in the handling of the tassels and the second example, while not the clearest photo unfortunately, particularly shows it. Like antique examples, the tassels are handled in a way in which they are actually in three dimensions. To my mind this is the ideal because it makes the tassels actually look like -- well, tassels.  The example seen in the first image is also quite successful, though without the more ideal approach found in the second. The key is that they still approximate something more three dimensional in their colouring and appearance for flatness is the enemy of good heraldry where vestments are concerned.

Beyond the tassels, what also works in these examples is the use of gradients in the colouring to also lend a sense of three dimensionality throughout the design -- and, importantly, without the use of black outlining (something which, for whatever reason, seems particularly popular in our day, but which does little more than flatten the design). The end result is something far more akin to the traditional art of ecclesiastical heraldry where vestments are concerned.

To my mind these two examples give some guidance on how heraldry can still be well approached in our day and age.

For more information, visit Giuseppe Quattrociocchi on social media or his website.

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