Venetian Copes of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Venetian gothic is a form of the gothic style that includes oriental and Arabic influences -- a result of its interaction and trade with these cultures. This interaction has led to a distinctive style whose pointed arches and design elements have a distinctly Moorish and Arabic feel to them, much as in the case of Moorish Spain. As such, it should come as no surprise that we see similar design qualities turn up in Venetian vestment work as well. 

One of the characteristics that we can find is one we also see turn up in Spain and also those associated with the old Austro-Hungarian Empire -- and given the connections between these two and Venice, this too should come as little surprise.  Within this tradition we see copes that frequently have pointed hoods/shields, also frequently with a tassel -- sometimes quite large -- attached to that point.  In point of fact, we can see within this shape an echo of Venetian gothic architecture itself, for if we compare the shapes of these hoods to the Venetian gothic pointed arch, we will see that it is essentially one of those pointed arches inverted:

If you still don't quite see it, a closer comparison reveals further the close similarities in shape and ornamental design. 

Is there a direct line of co-relation here? A valid question to be certain but the proximity of them stylistically hardly seems to be likely only purely coincidental. 

It is worth commenting that this design is by no means universal as this design seems to be mainly prevalent in Venetian copes that were made in the 1400's through 1500's; by the 1600's we begin to see much greater prevalence to the rounded shields/hoods that predominate elsewhere and at other periods (while the pointed shield of this sort continued to dominate in the Austro-Hungarian regions and some parts of Spain).  

Whatever might be the case, the main point is simply to share some of these copes with you for your own interest and edification. 






15th-16th century

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