Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Borromeon Chasuble in Works of Art

La Messe ou la mort de Saint-Benoit, Paris 17th century.
We continue our occasional series of works of art which illustrate traditional forms of the Latin chasuble. The painting above was produced by Philippe de Champaigne (1602 - 1674), probably during his years of work in Paris, and is a depiction of the death of Saint Benedict during the celebration of Mass.

Champaigne's painting possibly historicises the celebration of Mass, but it is also likely that it represents the aesthetics of Liturgical celebrations in Religious Houses in France in the middle of the seventeenth century.

We see the celebrant clad in a linen albe with close fitting sleeves, and merely a border of lace along its lower edge.  His amice is tucked into the Benedictine monastic hood.  The chasuble is fully in the Borromeon form, reaching down the entire length of the albe and almost to the wrist.  The chasuble is folded back at the wrist revealing a beautiful lining of peacock blue.

This golden chasuble is ornamented with an embroidered Cross on the back, with what appears to be a representation of the Madonna and Child at the intersection of the Cross's arms.

The ministers at the altar are also wearing linen albs.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.