The Twelfth Century Chasuble of Saint-Yves

Very few intact vestments from the medieval era remain, but one of a handful which can still be found is the so called chasuble of Saint-Yves, so named because it is found in the French church of St. Yves de Louannec. An interesting design feature of the chasuble is the slit at the neck, something that I have seen in another medieval chasuble. As for the fabric itself, it is a purple and gold twill fabric that is decorated with gryphons -- a mythological creature that is thought to have originated in the second century B.C. and which was a popular decorative motif in Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean regions. It provides a good example, yet again, of the fact that strictly 'ecclesiastical' fabrics were by no means normative through most of history. This particular work is thought to have originated within Sicily in the Hispano-Moorish workshops. Based on the images of the chasuble, it likely represents one of the truncations of the fuller conical form of the chasuble, slightly shortened at the arms, rising to around the point of the knees. The chasuble is dated to the twelfth century. 

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