Some Cerulean Blue Vestments from Italy

Recently I touched on the matter of European inventories of blue coloured vestments and I noted that to automatically associate them as being "Marian" in intent would be a mistake -- as historically, blue and bluish purples were classed under the categorization of penitential colours such as violet and black in at least some medieval inventories. This is materially understandable as it came in an age when materials and dyes were much more limited and one had to work with whatever was at hand; as such, many of these were seemingly used in the same way that we now consistently utilize purple (as is most especially seen in the fact of blue folded chasubles).

All that said, there is also a Marian angle to blue which in more recent times seems to have especially come in the form of lighter blues -- shades such as Cerulean. While this is not in general usage within the Latin rite of course, there are various locales, ranging from particular cultures and countries (historically Spanish territories being the best known, but also extending into places like Austria, etc.) and even to particular places such as Downside Abbey in the United Kingdom. 

With that in mind, and with today being the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I thought we would take a look at some blue vestments which are lighter in hue (though this is not to say these were specifically utilized for that purpose let it be noted). 

ca. 1650-1699, Bergamo

ca 1650-1699, Bergamo

ca. 1775-1799, Pavia

ca. 1700-1724, Bergamo

ca. 1700-1724, Bergamo

ca. 1725-1750, Padova

One can see how these shades are distinctively lighter, which perhaps better distinguishes them from the darker blues which tended to be understood as belonging in the penitential class of colours -- as seen here, for example, in this blue folded chasuble whose penitential intent is indispustable:

Of course, if one doesn't have the privilege of blue, there are always creative ways around it:

ca. 1710-1720

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