Festal Chasubles from Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century France

In the past we have frequently shown festal chasubles -- i.e. chasubles that are particularly decorative in their qualities -- but we have seldom looked at such chasubles coming from within the French tradition, and since we have lately been trying to explore that tradition more, today we are going to look at a number of examples -- coming in red and in white -- of festal chasubles found in France dating to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

The dating of these chasubles is certainly a point I would like to highlight because when most people think of traditional vestment work in France, what they are really thinking of is primarily nineteenth century work, which was of a rather different character than its predecessors. By comparison, seventeenth and eighteenth century French work tends shows some of the nascent design elements that would come to characterize work in the successive centuries, but it would also echo back to elements which would we now tend to consider more Italianate -- mainly for the reason that this style continued other there while it transitioned in places such as France.

With that in mind, let's take a look. 

This seventeenth century Pentecost chasuble comes from the inventory of l'Eglise Saint-Jean d'Elbeuf. It includes a central image of the dove, representing the Holy Spirit, surrounded by floral motifs. Outside, on the burgundy velvet, is a repeating pattern that is decorative and festal in nature and which ties it back to design elements that were more typically found in the sixteenth century and earlier.
Coming from the eighteenth century and also from the inventory of the Eglise Saint-Jean d'Elbeuf is this next chasuble which includes an image of the sacrificial lamb within its Latin cross.  Surrounding this are the sort of floral elements which would come to predominate in the eighteenth century. 
Coming from the treasury of the Cathedral of Saint-Jean et Saint-Etienne is our next chasuble. While undated, stylistically it is likely from the later seventeenth or very early eighteenth century. It includes the Jesuit styled IHS monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus, surmounted by a cross and with the usual three nails of the Cross found beneath. The form of the cross is Lyonese -- a single column (in the Italian fashion) with two separate bars added on to this to make the horizontal bars of a Latin cross. 
The next example comes from the first quarter of the eighteenth century. It includes an image of Christ as the Man of Sorrows and is found in the treasury of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de l'Annonciation. 

Next we have a chasuble that is likely from the latter half of the eighteenth century (though early nineteenth is certainly also possible). It includes a central Marian monogram that is crowned and surrounded by roses and other Marian floral motifs. 

This next example comes from the French Dominicans. It is dated to the seventeenth century and includes medallions with images of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Family,  as well as various saints and martyrs set within the orphrey. Outside of the orphrey we see the use of floriated motifs in pastel colours as was typical of vestments of these centuries and especially in the next century. 

The dating on this next chasuble is set between the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries. Based on some of its stylistic qualities, I would personally tend to lean toward the last quarter of the seventeenth century or first quarter of the eighteenth. 

Finally, we have two seventeenth century festal chasubles, both of which feature some of the earliest uses of the Parisian form of the cross. The first comes in red and features a scene of Pentecost, while the second includes a scene of the Assumption of the Virgin.  (Regrettably both of these chasubles are behind display cases that aren't well lit for photography, but they are unique enough designs that we want to show them all the same.) 

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