Another "Everyday" Solemn Mass Set from Renaissance Florence

I wanted to take yet another look at an "everyday" set of Renaissance vestments, once again coming from the workshops of Renaissance Florence -- the very heart and soul of the renaissance of course. This particular set is dated to the second half of the sixteenth century (i.e. 1550-1599) and is the sort of thing that the members of Florence's most prominent family, the Medici, might well have been familiar with.

The primary material from which this particular set is crafted is a chiseled green silk velvet that incorporates two of the three decorative elements that were popular in the Renaissance period, particularly in places such as Venice and Florence: the thistle and the 'pigna' (pinecone).

Here is a closer look at the velvet and the design in question:

Moderns tend to look at these and ask, "what liturgical colour is it?"  Some will attempt to ascertain which is the foreground colour, and which the background, and then select the foreground colour as the liturgical colour proper. However there is a far more sensible way to answer this question: namely, simply ask yourself what you eyes tell you. When you look at a fabric like this, which is the dominant colour? Is it gold or is it green? In this instance it is green -- and indeed, the further one gets from this fabric, the greener it gets -- I would direct your attention to the cope found below to see what I mean by this.  

The Renaissance period was one which prized velvets with beautiful and bold patterns such as these, and as noted earlier, themes of pinecones, thistles and pomegranates predominated the designs of the period.  This particular set may not provide us with the highest expression of liturgical craftsmanship from the period, but what it does provide is an insight and taste of into everyday liturgical life in Renaissance Florence. 


Dalmatic / Tunicle


Stole and Maniple - Do take note of the beautiful fringe. 


Chalice Veil

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