Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saint Camillus de Lellis

A kindly priest customer of the Studio sent us this rare portrait of Saint Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614), co-Patron Saint of Nurses.  Saint Camillus spent most of his life caring for the sick. Read more about him here.

Saint Camillus was ordained a priest in 1584 by the last Catholic English bishop, Lord Thomas Goldwell

The adjacent image of Saint Camillus is said to be only contemporaneous portrait of him and shews him during the Offertory of the Mass.  The Saint is wearing a style of chasuble common in the sixteenth century and often associated with Saint Philip Neri. Saint Philip was a spiritual mentor of Saint Camillus.

The chasuble is made from an ivory-coloured silk brocade interwoven with gold, but perhaps its most interest feature is its orphrey ornamentation.  The orphrey appears to be formed from a woven braid in colours of black and gold on an off-white base.  Most interesting is the design of this braid, being a series of interlinked geometric motifs: quite unlike the style of ornament found on other chasubles of this period and in the two centuries following.