Medieval Vestment Survivals: Casulla del Terno de San Vicente

As part of our series on medieval vestment survivals. I wanted to turn your attention today to the following chasuble dated to the second half of the thirteenth century, specifically circa 1300-1360, the San Vicente chasuble.  Suffice it to say the shape is not original, representing a later trimming down of a fuller chasuble. What caught my attention at first was the beautiful colours of the orphrey, made up of subtle shades of brown, yellow, ochre, blues and greens set onto a butter coloured backdrop. 

The orphrey is actually a remnant of much coveted Opus Anglicanum (English work) and depicts a very popular medieval theme: the Tree of Jesse. The Tree of Jesse, of course, comes with reference to the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament that culminate in Christ, showing Christ's genealogy and Davidic lineage and, indeed, King David is found at the base of the orphrey which culmintes at the top with the Virgin and Child.  Here is a closer look.

King David

As we have noted before, at this period in history, many of the precious silk textiles that were used were imported from the orient and this chasuble is no different, with the main textile coming from Mongolian origins. 

One will also note the two coloured fringe around the edge of the chasuble. Fringing of this sort was common through the Renaissance, after which time it began to be dispensed with. 

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