Pentecost Themed Vestments from the Nineteenth Century French School

To date we arguably haven't given enough focus to vestments coming from within the French school and when one thinks of the French school what you are invariably referring to are the styles and approaches that were popularized in the nineteenth century in particular.  Vestments of this period in France were characterized by the cut we have come to identify as French and most commonly include a Latin shaped cross on their back, generally in the Parisian form

These particular vestments were also amongst some of the earliest to employ a rudimentary, somewhat manual form of machine embroidery in their execution. They are frequently characterized by highly textured, three dimensional embroideries in metallic gold thread whose designs were comprised of floral motifs, vine-work and so on.  However, what they are also characterized by -- which makes them very popular amongst many contemporaries -- is also their inclusion of explicit Christian symbolism. Popular symbols in French vestment work of this time included the Lamb (Agnus Dei), the Pelican in Her Piety, monograms such as the IHS, the Sacred and Immaculate Heart and the Dove/Holy Spirit. 

It is the latter that we are going to focus on today, showing you some different examples of Pentecost themed vestments coming from within the French tradition of this period. Enjoy.

Work such as this is certainly very noble and beautiful. In many regards it is a surprise to me that we have not seen contemporary vestment makers push harder for the revival of this type of work for in many regards it provides a 'best of both worlds' type of approach, combining elements of the Roman tradition with the explicit symbolism we associate with the gothic revival tradition. 

Do you like Liturgical Arts Journal's original content? You can help support LAJ in its mission and vision to promote beauty in Catholic worship either by: 

You choose the amount! Your support makes all the difference.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.