Sunday, 26 August 2012

Altar of Saint Gregory the Great

Above the altar of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in Saint Peter's Basilica is a painting by Andrea Sacchi of the well-known miracle which occurred as Saint Gregory offered Mass.  Sacchi is said to have painted this in 1625.  The image below reproduces the entire painting, but the image above is a cropped version, which shews more clearly the vestments Saint Gregory is depicted as wearing.

We can deduce from this painting that in the first quarter of the 17th century, vestments were still being used in Rome which conformed to the directions set down more than a century earlier by Saint Charles Borromeo.  The chasuble on Saint Gregory is shewn to reach almost to the elbow, but is also folded back, indicating that it was wider still.  We also note that the chasuble is ornamented in what had become, even by then, the established Roman manner: a TAU in the front.  The stole, also, is quite long, although broad in the style of this period.  But a small amount of lace ornaments the albe of Saint Gregory in this painting.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.