Four Cardinals, Four Violet Chasubles of the Eighteenth Century

It has been a little while since we last checked in on some historical vestment work so for today I thought it might be of interest to look at four different chasubles, each coming from the eighteenth century, each bearing the arms of a cardinal, and each of a different character than the others. 

The first is a violet chasuble heavily embroidered in gold and it bears the arms of Cardinal Giovanna Carlo Boschi. The chasuble is dated to the mid 18th century.  This sort of heavier embroidery became quite popular in the 19th century. 

Next we have a chasuble of violet silk lamé. This too is heavily embroidered in gold but the character of the embroidery is much more delicate than the previous example. The stemma, which belongs to one Cardinal Albani, in this particular example is different than the previous example insofar as the galero and its tassels are both done in gold so as to make it integrate more seamlessly with the rest of the design. Like the previous example, this too dates from the mid 18th century, approximately 1740-1760.

Our third example is a chasuble of Cardinal Corsini and is dated to the years of 1725-1749. As I have noted in another article, as you proceed backward through the centuries and decades, the character of the embroideries tend to move from the heavier to the lighter. It is not, of course, a hard and fast rule but one can see these different characters in the examples shown here. 

Detail of the stemma of Cardinal Corsini

Finally, we conclude with this chasuble which bears the arms of an unidentified cardinal.  The estimated date range for it is 1700-1749. The design utilizes a style which was popular in the 18th century whereby the entire surface of the chasuble is embroidered, but the central orphrey is more heavily embroidered than the rest thereby emphasizing it.  You can see in this instance, the stemma is done monochromatically in gold. 

Each of these four examples is beautiful in its own way and by looking at historical works such as these, one not only can pick up on the trends of the time, it is also a good foundation for recovering these arts. 

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