Friday, May 15, 2009

Roman Exhibition Showcases Significant and Historical Vestments

A good friend of the NLM studying in Rome sent in some news and photos today of an interesting exhibition that just opened in the Eternal City, put on by the Italian Ministero Dell'Interno (Ministry of the Interior) entitled, "Antichi Telai'. In mostra a Roma i tessuti d'arte del patrimonio del Fondo Edifici di Culto" -- "Antique Looms: Artistic Fabrics from the Patrimony of the Buildings of Worship Trust of the Ministry of the Interior." (As regards the mention of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, apparently the contents of the sacristies of Italy have been the property of the Italian state since 1870.)

The exhibition in question includes displays of ornate vestment embroidery from some of the finest churches in Rome, Florence, Bologna, Naples and Sicily. This includes altar frontals, mitres, ombrellini, chasubles, copes, and a gold embroidered alb of Pius IX.

Here are the images the NLM was sent by our friend within Rome; the descriptions were provided by him as well. (Clicking upon them will give you a much larger image to view, which is pertinent for viewing the details of works such as these.)

(Left: A hanging lamp from the Roman Oratory, with Sicilian coral work, a gift from the Orsini family to the internal chapel of St Philip in the first half of the 17th century. Behind-right: A hand embroidered cope of cloth of silver with St. Dominic on the hood, from the church of S. Domenico in Palermo, Sicily; from the end of 17th or beginning of 18th century.)

(Centre: Mid-17th century chasuble from the Jesuit church in Palermo, Chiesa del Gesu - Casa Professa. The orphreys are embroidered with silk, silver, gold, and coral beads. Behind-right: A green silk dalmatic from the church of San Benedetto in Militello in Val di Catania, Sicily; from the first quarter of the 17th century.)

(Green chasuble from the church of San Camillo de Lellis at Catania, Sicily. The work is from the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century.)

(Center-back: An 18th century cope from the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. Above it is an ombrellino from the Basilica di San Domenico, Bologna, also from the 18th century. Right: Side detail visible of an 18th century chasuble from the monastery church of Santa Chiara, Naples.)

(Centre: A chasuble from the church of the Gesu in Rome, made for Cardinal Farnese in the second half of the 16th century and based upon an earlier design of the artist Raphael. Right: A dalmatic from the church of San Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa Grande, Rome. This dalmatic is from a set given to the church in Rome in 1810 by a Franciscan sister in Naples. It is Neapolitan and from the first half of the 18th century.)

The exhibition also includes copes from St. Pius V, Pope Benedict XIII, and Cardinal Baronius which the NLM will endeavour to get to readers as well.

The exhibition is open from May 13th - July 26th.

For more information, please see the exhibition website.

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