Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gothic Revival in French Vestments, Mid-19th century

In the middle of the nineteenth century, in France, there has been a big controversy between those who wanted to come back to the old shapes of the liturgical vestments, like Dom Gueranger Abbot of Solesmes and the Bishop of Moulins, Mgr de Dreux-Brézé and the tenants of the classical French or Roman chasubles.

Some ample and supple chasubles had always been in use in Notre-Dame de Paris but it was rather considered as an indult, an old usage.

Mgr de Dreux-Brézé introduced in his cathedral a new style of vestments, inspired by the 16th century chasubles, a transition between the gallican and gothic chasuble.
I am lucky to own such a set of vestments which was used for the mass said for my father 30 days after his death in Saint-Eugène in Paris.

I would like to show you some photographs of this fine set (chasuble and cope)

Some close photographs to show more details. Here is the chasuble and the pastoral stole.

The fabric is black silk velvet, with thread of gold embroderies on small pieces of cardboard or threads. There is also some silver thread. I left a big definition on this photograph to allow a good appreciation of the embroderies.

A detail of the cope

There are not so many vestments of this kind left, as the decoration is more suitable for stiff vestments. When the chasubles become fuller and suppler, supple orfreys will be prefered.

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