Further Embroidery of the Poor Clares of Mazamet, France: The Chasuble of L'Arbre Franciscain

Continuing on with some of our considerations of the vestment work of the Poor Clares of Mazamet, France, I thought to include these in our previous article, but to my mind these are not examples of "Other Modern."  This particular vestment set is known as the L'Arbre Franciscain set (The Franciscan Tree) and is dated to 1924.  The basic form of the chasuble is truncated gothic with a typical y-orphrey pattern but what stands out in particular in the design are the branches coming off the orphrey, which itself is designed like the trunk of an oak tree, complete with roots.  

The back of the chasuble includes an image of the crucifixion within the axis of the orphrey, while on the branches are medallions which portray male saints of the Franciscan order. 

Photo: M. Kérignard © General inventory Occitanie Region

On the front we find an image of the Virgin surround by female saints of the Franciscan order.  

Photo: M. Kérignard © General inventory Occitanie Region

On the stole we find depictions of St. Louis and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, both having attachments to the Order of Friars Minor, while the maniple bears the images of St. Joan of Valois and St. Roch.

Finally, we have the chalice veil, burse and pall. 

By way of comment, one of the unfortunate aspects of the gothic revival was that it very quickly became very "cookie cutter," losing its emphasis on unique designs and relying far too heavily on the then novelty of its particular forms. This particular set does not fall into that -- from from it -- and surely must be considered amongst some of the best and most interesting gothic revival work of the twentieth century -- if not the whole movement in general. 

In a final article, we will look at some mitres produced by this same house of Poor Clares.

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