The Chasuble and Antependium of Pizzighettone

The diocesan museum of Cremona has an interesting set of a paraments on display known as the Pizzighettone paraments, coming with reference to the town of the same name. So how did such an impressive set of vestments come to be associated with such a location?

The King of France, Francis I, was taken prisoner and imprisoned in this place in the early 1500's following a battle in Pavia. During his time imprisoned there, the king in question was befriended by one Fr. Gian Giacomo Cipello. Upon Francis' release from prison, wishing to show his gratitude for the friendship and good treatment he head received there, he presented gifts. Amongst those gifts were these two paraments, a chasuble and an antepdium (or, altar frontal). 

The chasuble includes a main orphrey image showing the Pieta (or Deposition). Royal French fleur-de-lys also form a  prominent part of the design, along with the double-headed eagle -- an image of the Holy Roman Emperor.  Other scenes on the orphrey shown the martyrdom of St. Stephen, St. Bartholomew, St. Andrew and St. Christopher. 

The antependium -- which tradition says was embroidered by Queen Louise of Savoy and the ladies of her court -- includes a scene of Christ crucified, Our Lady and St. John to either side, Beneath the cross are grasses and flowers with an image of the skull of Adam. On the four corners are found the royal symbols of the Kings of France, while sunbursts with the monograms of Christ and the Virgin Marry also decorate the space.

A closer look at the figures of St. John and Our Lady, which are exquisite. The facial features and hands are done in egg tempera paint on silk.

Marian monogram

Symbols of King Francis I

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