Chasuble: Italy, Florence Orphrey Cross: Bohemia or Germany
About this artwork
Although this chasuble (a priest’s outer garment) is incomplete, its richly embroidered cross, known as an orphrey, remains intact. It features five saints, with Saint George and the slain dragon at center, and was probably used in Bohemia or Germany, where the embroidery was done. The combination of sumptuous velvet and embroidery is typical of 15th-century religious attire. These luxurious velvets were exported from the Italian peninsula to other European countries, as well as to the Ottoman Empire.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
Chasuble: silk and metal-wrapped thread, brocaded silk velvet with two heights of silk pile, and metal-wrapped threat boucle.
Orphrey Cross: silk and metal-wrapped thread, embroidered in flat and padded couching stitches and split stitches on linen plain weave foundation.
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Margaret E. Tabor. The Saints in Art (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1913), pp. 50-51, etc.
Christie’s South Kensington. “Sale of Uniforms, Militaria, Fans, Textiles, Embroidery and Costume” (sales catalogue), Thursday, November 18, 1976, p. 12, no. 142.
Christa C. Mayer Thurman. “Some Major Textile Acquisitions from Europe and Egypt” Museum Studies, vol. 11, no. (Fall 1984). pp. 52-69.
Christa C. Mayer Thurman. Textiles in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1992), p. 26-7 (illus.), 143.
The Art Institute of Chicago. “Devotion & Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.” Museum Studies. vol. 30, no. 2 (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 2004).
The Art Institute of Chicago, Agnes Allerton Gallery, Selected Textile Acquisitions Since 1978, July 10–October 10, 1982
The Art Institute of Chicago, Agnes Allerton Gallery, Vestments and Liturgical Textiles from the Permanent Collection, July 27–October 9, 1983
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, European Textile Masterpieces from Coptic Times through the 19th Century, September 27, 1989–January 22, 1990
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Textile Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago’s Collection,
February 17–May 2, 1993
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Heralding a Vestment Collection, September 11, 1996–January 12, 1997
The Art Institute of Chicago, Department of European Decorative Arts, Alsdorf Gallery, September 30, 1998– February 10, 1999
The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Renaissance Velvets and Silks, December 18, 2002–April 13, 2003
The Art Institute of Chicago, Deering Family Galleries, September 28, 2018-May 22, 2019
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