The Venetian Cope of Gandino

This particular cope is of sixteenth century Venetian manufacture, presently on display in the Museo della Basilica di Gandino. Both the age of the cope and the Venetian influence are readily enough visible to anyone who has followed our various articles on LAJ in this regard. Crimson red velvets, which form the main body of this cope, were of course highly prized and popular in the Renaissance and they were famously and qualitatively produced in places such as Venice -- in fact, one of the period ateliers of silk and velvet textiles in Venice remains in operation still to this very day, Luigi Bevilacqua

Aside from the materials (and you will want to take a closer look at the velvet), certainly the style and shape of the hood, or shield, of this cope also points back to its Venetian origins as pointed hoods of this sort are very much a derivation from Venetian gothic -- which was itself a derivation from the Ottoman and oriental influences for which Venice was a bridge for the rest of Christian Europe. 

To truly appreciate the ornamentality and quality of this particular cope, you will want to look closely at the image immediately above and also the details below. Here you can see on the shield of the cope its image of the Virgin and Child surrounded by winding, floral embroidered designs made of gold thread, and the images of various saints set into architectural motifs with the same.  These details will also give you a much better sense of the ornamental nature of the velvet itself which is not a plain velvet but rather an example of a period voided velvet whereby the designs are embedded right into the velvet itself  -- in this case, seeing heraldic crowns incorporated within its design and the popular cammino motif of the era. This provides a nice counterbalance to the embroidered designs found on the shield and orphrey. 

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